Family Motto Ideas: Inspiring the Right One for You

Updated November 27, 2019
Smiling parents with two children on the beach

To promote unity and focus on a mutual philosophy, many families adopt mottos or slogans as a guiding principle. The motto can be serious or humorous as long as it represents a belief or sentiment agreed upon by the majority of the family.

Modern Family Mottos

Today, family mottos are frequently adapted to promote civility, strength in the face of adversity, and basic morals and values that help adults and children make good decisions when faced with difficult choices. Good family mottos should be powerful, brief and clear.

Understanding Family Mottos

The slogans are usually short and to the point, so young children can remember and understand them as well as use them to encourage good behavior and choices. For instance, if your family believes in the power of determination and patience, you might consider mottos like, "Nothing Good Happens Fast," "Onward and Upward" or "Quitters Never Win." To personalize the motto, you can simply go with a phrase like, "Smiths Are Not Quitters" or "Thompsons Try and Try Again." Before sitting down with your family to come up with one that everyone deems ideal, consider some example mottos to help steer you in the right direction.

Family Motto Examples

Creating a family motto is a great way to bring your family together and instill important values. Select a family motto based on what beliefs are the most significant in your household.

Moral and Ethical Mottos

Mottos can be crafted to reflect your family's most important values. Options include:

  • Always there to always care
  • Always loving and supporting each other no matter what
  • Strive to show kindness
  • Respect everyone's perspective
  • Love, honesty, and trust
  • We value empathy and understanding
  • We show strength through our thoughtful words
  • Constantly growing and learning
  • We won't succeed without trying our best
  • Learning and growing every day
  • Love is the main ingredient

Historically Focused Mottos

Those who value the rich history of their family may want to explore family mottos that reflect that. Some include:

Happy senior couple with family
  • Drawing from our past as we strive towards our future
  • Looking to the future
  • Don't forget to remember
  • Our children: We give them roots so they can take flight
  • The legacy never ends
  • New vines from strong roots
  • Rooted and grounded in love
  • In touch with history and our destiny
  • Celebrating our roots
  • Celebrating our heritage, building our future
  • Looking into the past to enrich our future
  • Proud of our roots

Contemporary Motto Examples

Contemporary mottos reflect shifts in culture and an updated understanding of what it means to be a family. A few examples include:

Family Motto Hoping, Inspiring, Believing
  • United and growing
  • It's a family affair
  • Family always
  • United we stand
  • Making great memories
  • Hoping, inspiring, believing
  • Pushing each other to be our very best selves
  • Honor creativity and explore personal goals
  • We don't believe in perfect, we believe in making mistakes
  • Always go the extra mile for what you believe in
  • We believe in each other's journey
  • We celebrate self-discovery

Choosing a Motto

If your family doesn't have a motto or wants to change an old one to something more reflective of current morals and attitudes, you can make the process fun and structure it to include all the family members old enough to read and write. Include younger family members by making them part of a 'team' with a family member who is old enough to write.

  • Gather writing paper, pens or pencils and a dry erase board or chalkboard.
  • Schedule a meeting that everyone can attend: parents, children, stepchildren and grandparents who live with their children or reside nearby.
  • Explain what a family motto is and its purpose. Keep it simple so the younger children can easily grasp the concept.
  • Give examples of commercial mottos like, "Just do it," "Have it your way" or sports team slogans like, "Commitment to excellence" or "Just win, baby."
  • Ask what adjectives each person would choose to describe the family, how each thinks others see the family, and what the family's goals and beliefs are.
  • Write the suggestions on the board and ask for feedback. Be careful not to make fun of suggestions or let others comment in a chiding manner.
  • Distribute the paper and writing instruments to everyone and ask them to write down a family motto suggestion using some adjectives on the board.
  • Discuss slogans that are too wordy and how to shorten and strengthen them.
  • When you have narrowed the selections to two or three slogans, conduct a family vote to determine the winner. If necessary, hold several meetings to give everyone a chance to develop some mottos on their own to submit for review before voting.
  • Once the family selects a motto, print out a few copies of it using large, bold lettering and post it around the house.
  • Use the slogan as often as possible in applicable situations.
  • Agree to meet once or twice a year with the family to discuss the slogan and entertain suggestions for revisions.

Inspirational Resources

Find a book or website with famous quotations that cover topics like morality, truth, self-reliance, good will and humanitarian values, which reflect American family values. Incorporate the words and thoughts of these into personalized statements that reflect your family's personality. Keep in mind that family mottos can be light and self-deprecating, as long as they accurately reflect how the majority of the family members perceive the family unit and suggest an attitude of good will and kindness.

Crafting Your Family Motto

Take your time figuring out what your perfect family motto is together. Note that mottos can change at any point to best reflect your family. Think of your family motto as words of wisdom that you'd like your family to pass on, or a reflection of your family's most important values.

Family Motto Ideas: Inspiring the Right One for You