Family Fun | Parenting

What Is Family Culture?

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What is family culture? Why does knowing yours matter? How do you create a family culture that flourishes around values that matter and a mission you share?

Today we had 22 people in our kitchen for a brunch. The smells of sweet cheese danishes and smoky bacon (and cappuccino, of course!), the sounds of laughter and silverware clinking, and the feelings of togetherness and joy were simply perfect.

Everyone in our family was shining brightly because they were enjoying serving, encouraging, and interacting with our guests. You see, hospitality is a part of our family culture.

What Is Your Family Culture?

Family culture is the combination of your family’s habits, traditions, purpose, values, beliefs, and choices. It is often impacted by experiences, personalities, and external influences.

Another definition of family culture is:

A family’s cultures are complex and influenced by many factors: family traditions, countries of origin, geographic regions, ethnic identities, cultural groups, community norms, sexual orientations, gender identities, educational and other experiences, personal choices, and home languages.

The Administration for Children and Families 

Elements of Family Culture

Every family has a family culture and each family’s is unique because no two families share exactly the same habits, traditions, purpose, values, beliefs, choices, and experience. What is yours?

Take a look at the things that matter in your home and that shape your interactions with each other.

  • What do you enjoy?
  • What don’t you enjoy?
  • What do you prioritize?
  • What won’t you do?
  • What rituals or traditions do you all embrace and anticipate eagerly?
  • How do you make hard choices?

The answers to these questions (and many others) will help you see what your current family culture is.

Other elements to consider include:

  • How do you speak to one another?
  • How do you resolve conflicts?
  • How do you celebrate together?
  • How do you process grief?
  • What are your core values?

Why Is Family Culture Important?

Family culture is important. It literally lays the foundation upon which your kids will build their futures.

Your family culture gives them a safe framework in an ever-changing world that can cause kids to feel very insecure. It fosters a stronger sense of identity and purpose as well confidence and value.

A strong, healthy family culture is what leads to generations coming together around the same family table, laughing together and building more memories.

A strong and healthy family culture is what every parent wants to create for their child, but not everyone knows how.

How To Intentionally Build A Strong Family Culture

While every family has a culture, purposefully or not, there is a beauty to intentionally creating a family culture.

Here are a few ways to create a family culture that will provide a foundation and framework to help your kids build a bright future and that will keep close relationships flourishing in your home.

>>> Your Values Direct Your Family Culture

What are the values that matter most to your family?

Some possibilities are love, joy, encouragement, determination, and hard work. Perhaps you value honesty, a sense of humor, forgiveness, and being genuine. Other possibilities are friendship, hospitality, sharing, and loyalty.

These are your family’s values and these will ultimately shape your choices, actions, and lifestyle.

>>>Your Family Rhythm Shapes Your Family Culture

What is that you do as a family? The way you spend your days -your family rhythm- is a great way to determine what your family culture is.

And if you don’t like what you see? Go ahead and change it!

Like part of it? Go ahead and do more of it or do it more intentionally

>>>Habits Define Your Family Culture

Did you know that your family’s habits are a part of your culture, too? Largely in part because they reflect your value. But the repetitive nature of habits helps establish a

Maybe you are movie buffs and get together weekly to watch a movie. Or perhaps you are foodies who spend the week scouring the web for fabulous new family friendly recipes to try for your weekend family meal. Maybe game night gets you all excited and draws you together for hours of fun, competition, and time together.

puzzles over vacation family tradition idea with three people working puzzle

>>>Rituals Enhance Your Family Culture

One our favorite family rituals happens on birthdays. Every person at the table (family and guest alike!) shares three things they appreciate/value about the birthday person and one special memory from the last year.

This is a ritual that reveals part of our family’s values and culture.

What rituals do you share? Do you have special things you do to mark the first day of school, a holiday, or perhaps a sick day? These little things are constants in your kids’ lives and in your home and they help create your family culture.

>>>Traditions Cement Your Family Culture

What about traditions? Do you read The Night Before Christmas each Christmas Eve? Have 8 kinds of pie for Thanksgiving desserts? Always go to Grandma’s house for Easter supper?

Maybe you take a vacation together every year or wear ugly sweaters for a new family photo. Maybe you wake the birthday kid up with a cupcake and hot cocoa in bed or have a water gun fight on the last day of school.

Whatever your traditions are, you can be sure that they are a significant part of your family’s culture. Learn more about tradition ideas you can start this year HERE.

>>>Your Belief System Is Foundational To Your Family Culture

Your core beliefs will also radically impact your family culture, whether you realize it or not. If you believe honesty is essential and react very strongly when someone lies, then this will impact your interactions as a family.

If you are a faith driven family, that will impact your family culture. If you are a service driven family, then that will impact your family culture. If you prize learning and exploration, that will manifest in your family as well.

What you believe shapes your choices from how you spend your time to how you raise your kids.

Creating A Legacy Family Culture

One of the best gifts you can give your kids is roots…and wings. And both of those things come from your family culture. Culture is what calls our kids home for Sunday suppers or family game day after they leave the nest and it’s what gives them the confidence to leave it in the first place.

And the culture you create today is a legacy because it will shape the family culture your children one day create in their own homes with their own families.

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