The Frantic Family Scoreboard

May 06, 2014 | Chris Payne

The Three Big Questions


Family Scoreboard Explanations

1. What makes your family unique?

The answer to this question should be two or three sentences that describe how your family is different from any other family in the world. If you don’t know what differentiates your family from others, you won’t have a basis for making decisions, and you’ll try to be all things to all people.

2. What is your top priority— rallying cry — right now?

Rallying Cry: The rallying cry is a single, agreed-upon top priority for your family over the next two to six months. Without a top priority, everything becomes important and you end up reacting to whatever issues seem urgent that day.

Defining Objectives: Defining objectives are the basic categories of things you’ll have to do to achieve your rallying cry. Without identifying those categories, you’ll be left with nothing but a general statement—and no context for getting it done.

Standard Objectives: Standard objectives are simply those regular, perennial responsibilities that a family must pay attention to in order to keep its head above water. By acknowledging these ongoing responsibilities, families will avoid being distracted from what really matters.

3. How do you talk about and use the answers to these questions?

The most important thing a family has to do to keep its context alive is discuss it in regular meetings. If you answer the first two questions but don’t use those answers in daily, weekly and monthly decision-making, it will yield limited benefits.

Our Family Scoreboard Example 1

1. What makes our family unique?

We are an affectionate family that encourages emotional expression. Honesty and integrity are the foundation of our family and we value humor, laughter and silliness. We surround ourselves with friends and family that share a sense of mutual dependability and trust.

2. What is our top priority — rallying cry — right now?

More quality “core four” family time

Rallying Cry

  • Develop consistency in handling discipline for youngest daughter
  • Motivate oldest daughter toward independence
  • Reduce social obligations
  • Plan family vacation
Defining Objectives 
  • Faith + Church
  • Fitness
  • School
  • Kids’ activities
  • Marriage

Standard Objectives

3. How will we talk about and use the answers to these questions?

Mom and Dad meet Sunday evenings for about 15 minutes after the kids have gone to bed.

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