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Many people consider creating a family motto to be a newer, modern trend. However, family mottos have long been a part of family life, historically dating back to many of our European ancestors. Many family mottos originated from the family crest or coat of arms. Sometimes genealogy gives us clues to the family mottos of our ancestors.

Purpose of A Family Motto

A family motto can have many purposes and functions, depending on how the family creates and uses it. Some purposes of a family motto include:

· Acts as a mission statement of what your family stands for

· Draws a family together and unites them

· Provides focus or goals for the family

· Motivates a family to work together

· Defines how family members treat and interact with one another

What Defines A Family Motto?

Members of the family ultimately decide what their family motto is and what it means to them. Some extended families have mottos, other have independent family mottos for their immediate families. Creating a motto can take and evening, several months, or evolve over years. Ideas to start brainstorming for your own motto may be:

· A saying or a quote often used by members of your family

· Goals or aspirations for your family

· Words or statements you live by

· Famous saying or quote

· Scripture verse

· Song

· Using an Acronym

· Inside family joke or humor

· A family motto used by your ancestors

How To Live and Teach Your Family Motto

A family motto can be useless unless we really live the motto and teach it to our children. We can have reminders of our family motto in our home and environments. The best way we reinforce our family motto is by living it. Some ways to help teach a family motto can include:

· Wall Art or Plaques: wall vinyl, pictures, plaques, wall boards, family photo wall with motto posted

· Handmade Items: crosstitches, pillows, or artwork that state the family motto

· Momentos with Meaning: Can be anything of value to the person that reminds them of the family motto (jewelry, statue or figurine, objects, etc.)

· A Cheer or Chant: Look for opportunities to state your family motto, either individually or as a family. Some families sate the motto after prayer or before bedtime. Others chant or state the motto during family meetings, events or functions.

· Teach the Motto: Example is the best teacher. Be a role model of that motto in all that you do and in how your treat your and children. Reinforce your children as you see them live the motto. Continue to discuss the motto as a family.

Sample Family Mottos or Sayings:

Peterson’s Stick Together

Smith’s Don’t Quit

Be true to who you are and the family name you bear





No Empty Chairs

True At All Times

Lindquist’s Do Hard Things

Have I Done Any Good

Stand for Truth and Righteousness

As a family we may not have it all together, but together we have it all

ACT A – assess your situation, C – commit to a plan, T- take action

FANAFI– Find A Need And Fill It

Attitude is everything…Pick a good one!

Happiness is not a destination- It’s a way of life

Ask not what your mother can do for you ask what you can do for your mother

Rule1: Don’t sweat the small stuff, Rule 2: It’s all small stuff

If you take it out, put it back

If you carry it in, carry it out

If you borrow it, return it

If you open it, close it

If you throw it down, pick it up

If you take it off, hang it up

If you break it, fix it.