We are Alexanders

“We are Alexanders, we are direct. We look people in the eye and say what we need.” One family member overheard me saying this to my 8 year old. She mentioned that she has noticed this saying, “We Are Alexanders, we…” in various forms over the years, and began to interview me on the subject.

Where did you come up with the idea?

We started our Alexander axioms when Canon (now 11) was 2. I didn’t want to be that mom who was constantly saying NO. I desired to parent in the positive. Speaking values and virtues over my children makes more sense to me than always negatively correcting. It is a code of conduct, whereby children begin to be aware of principles that are important in relating with family and community.

What are some other Alexander axioms?

We are Alexanders, we…
are direct.
are learners.
are leaders.
are problem solvers.
are kind.
use our words.
treat people with respect.
don’t whine or complain.
tell the truth.
include everyone.

These are the main Alexander axioms. My children hear many other sayings throughout the days and weeks as well.
“We get in a rush, we get in a wreck.”

“Be mindful of the needs of others.”

“Yes ma’am, no ma’am, yes sir, no sir.”

“You’re always in my heart.”

“A person falls down 7 times, but gets up 8.”

“There is no excuse for abuse.”

“Sometimes we need a reset.”

And a couple I recently picked up from high-school-bestie-reunited:
“Swear on our love.”
“Change it.”

Do you have them written down anywhere?

I have always told myself I need to start documenting our family axioms. I believe that each family has a unique set of values they are passionate about. We should all record these values and speak them over our children in ways that help shape character. If we feel strongly about particular virtues, we can either assume our children will magically pick up on them, or we can clearly communicate them.

What are your family axioms?



  1. That’s wonderful, Nikki, to communicate that way. I’ve sort of wondered how to pass on values. Michael and I discuss things in front of the kids, and we live it out, but I still feel like they’re missing it when I have to have a long conversation every time I see them getting upset over game because it isn’t going the way they thought it would. The conversation should come outside the high-pressure context of the moment, but how? Yours sounds like an excellent way to handle it, besides which, it builds in them a strong sense of family identity, family story.

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