A few years ago, Jared and I started talking about how we wanted to raise our kids. You know, the big stuff, like the kind of parents we wanted to be, takeaway’s and lessons-learned from our years growing up.
Each year we take a few days for vision casting and planning for the next twelve months, and along with developing our family vision and mission statements, we’ve started working on what I like to call our Family Crest.
Historically, crests are like trademarks or custom stamps. Here are a few explanations:
“The terms “family crest” and “coat of arms” have become interchangeable, but they started out with tangible differences … This term originates from a European custom dating back to the Middle Ages. Heralds, or announcers, would introduce knights at competitions, and spectators could distinguish each knight by the design adorning his shield, helmet and armor. This design was his crest … Crests were passed down by men to their firstborn male offspring, similar to how a man named William Jones might name his son William Jones Jr.” Source
“Crests, like their history with fighting men, are still worn today by every solider, sailor and marine. Even corporations, colleges, churches and state and city offices still use the crest, and it is often used in place of a coat of arms. When used in this setting, the crest typically signifies the values and principles of the organization, although it may also be used as way to identify the organization or create a sense of prestige or honor.” Source
More than cool symbols, we wanted to develop a crest of characteristics and guiding principles that mark our family. That outsiders could (hypothetically) look at one of our kids and say, “Oh, that’s a Weaver” by the way they conducted themselves. And to give a groundwork for the way our family chooses to work.
Here’s the checklist we used in determining what to include in our crest:
- We wanted to include guiding principles that could apply to a variety of situations, not necessarily specific rules like “Weaver’s clean their rooms.”
- We wanted to limit the crest to a maximum of 6-8 points to make them easy to remember and refer back to.
- We will display this crest somewhere in our home as a reminder of what we want to be about. Right now I’m using this cute collage frame I got on sale at Target, but someday the plan is to make a larger focal point using reclaimed wood.
- The elements in our crest are open for discussion and future additions. As our kids grow older, we will use these guidelines as we instruct them. We want them to understand and to feel free to ask questions, maybe even make suggestions about additional family markers to add along the way.
So here’s the Weaver Family Crest.
What do you think? Do you use something similar in your home?