Manifesto is a cool word -- sounds like I'm taking over the world, but it just means a stated plan or intention. Here is the manifesto I created a year ago for my family while I was in the midst of dealing with angst around the behaviour of one of my boys (you know who you are!).
My Manifesto for My Family
* open to intrepretation and differnt methods of implementation
- You are my child/partnet and I will always love you. I will not always love the things you do or the atttitudes you have but I will always love you, just as you are. I won't love you more if you behave better; I won't love you less if you behave badly.
- I will always hve your back. I will always do what will benefit you most. You may not always like it or agree with it. No matter what happens, I will stand beside you.
- Home is a safe place where you can be yourself. You will not be hurt or ridiculed. You will be accepted just as you are. You will not be allowed to hurt or ridicule anyone in this house. If "who you are" hurt people, I will find you the resources to work through this. Home is safe for everyone.
- I will always encourage you to go for your goals, try new things and take chances (within reason). I will do whatever I can to help you.
Teaching and Learning
- I will teach you what I know, sometimes even things you don't want to know, like chores, consequenses and responsibility. I am willing to learn what you have to teach me, even if I don't want to. Things like patience, humily and that I'm not always right.
Being Together, Being Apart
- I want to spend time with you -- alone, with the family and with others. I enjoy your company and we can't achieve the other items if we don't spend time together. I also need time away from you -- and you need time away from me -- so we can e our own people with our own friends and interests.