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Family Mantras

There is no better time than the beginning of a new year to think about some phrases you would like your family to take on as a family mantra. Historically, mantras were developed and used in ancient India as a means for meditation and devotion. Throughout time, mantras have continued to be adapted to help individuals with their wellbeing as they navigate life circumstances. Family mantras provide family members with stability and grounding in uncertain moments and help build a cohesive family unit.

Mantras provide stability and improve self-esteem.

Having a few mantras that your family knows and says help each member of your family feel like they are a “part of a whole.” As humans, we are continually searching for the feeling of belonging and connectedness. When there are stable family beliefs and ideals, individuals know where to lean in times of upset or confusion. As you create your family mantras, it helps to think about what you want your family to really be about. What do you want your children to grow up believing about themself and the family they come from? When the ground is rocky out in the real world, are their family values and beliefs help them find stability?

Mantras also can help build self-esteem. As a parent, it can be challenging to hear your child speak negatively towards themself, such as “I’m terrible at running” or “I’ll never be a good reader.” More and more studies show that positive self-talk can lead to improved self-esteem, in turn helping our children become more resilient, better problem solvers, and lead healthier lifestyles as adults. This is where having a few family mantras that remind them of their abilities can be helpful.

Creating a family mantra

As you and your family start to develop ideas for possible mantras, it helps to look at everyone’s personal goals. Take some time to meet as a family and identify what everyone is working on. Is there a common theme that you notice, such as learning new skills or improving relationships? As you list everyone’s goals, highlight the similar ones and come up with a phrase that will be handy to refer to in times of need. It’s helpful to note that family mantras can change over time, especially as children go through development stages. For example, a family with preschoolers might say “just keep swimming” as a way to promote striving for one’s goal; but as the family ages, it can change to “progress over perfection.”

Here a few family mantra ideas to get you started:
Broken crayons still color.
We can do hard things.
Sometimes the right path is not the easiest one.
Have Courage and Be Kind.
You only fail when you stop trying.

How to use your mantras

If you get a chance to write out your mantras, it’s fun to put them in color and decorate it for a location in your home that everyone passes by. It can also be fun to use window/dry erase markers on bathroom mirrors as reminders before everyone heads off on their day. Hopefully, you can develop some mantras that help your family unit feel more grounded and connected to one another.