The family is a microcosm of the society and is also one of the building blocks of a nation. The saying goes “Strong families make a strong nation”. Just like other relationships, familial relationships take effort, time and intention to nurture. The family culture is important to help the family bond strongly. It is the glue that helps the family to stick through thick and thin. It may also make your kids want to spend time with the family!
Why is Family Culture important?
Family culture influences how each family members behaves, thinks and feels. It might be subtle but the family culture affects our moral compass, beliefs, values and traditions. It is a big part of what makes up our identity.
Five Ways to Build Your Own Family Culture
1. Have Rituals and Keep Them
Do something weekly like having family meals, or weekly cycling trip or Pizza movie nights. These rituals should be enjoyed by everyone and known as a ritual to keep. Some families may bond over a good meal, so checking out a new restaurant could be one. Or even taking long walks and hikes together could be a chance to talk, share and just enjoy each other’s company.
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2. Hobbies and Sports
Shared hobbies and sports can be very powerful ways to unite a family – or divide if they support rival teams. Soccer dads and mums usually have their preferred football clubs to show their unwavering support for. This usually translates to soccer-loving offspring who may likewise start leaning to different sides.
If not a sport, how about a hobby? Playing music together, singing and playing duets with instruments, board games, chess are also special ways to nurture the familial relationships. We recently tried geocaching and it was great fun!
3. Supporting one another in good and bad times
Whether it’s a piano recital, a badminton match or a kindergarten concert, the family should show up to support one another’s endeavours. The shared burden of an unfortunate event should also be shouldered by all in the family – getting through the dark times and brighter days together can boost the closeness of relationships.
4. Communicating with one another
I have always envied families who are close, and this is evident by the very active family chat groups they have. It might be jesting or teasing one another, or sharing jokes that Mum and Dad won’t be able to understand yet these are precious ways to communicate frequently even if everyone’s busy with their own schedules.
You can start by having meaningful conversations with the children and being intentional about them. If you need some help, try these conversation starters. Keep communicating so that it becomes habitual.
5. Write out your Family Rules and goals
The Chinese saying goes, every nation as its laws, every family has its rules. Write out the family rules together – perhaps they need some revision now and then. Instead of being dogmatic about them, we can be more flexible and include the children’s opinions too.
Goals are also important. What kind of goals do we want for the family? What kind of family do we want to be? A fun-loving family that respects one another? A warm family that puts family first? What kind of values are important to us?
Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither is a family
Strong families share common values and are committed to one another through communication, time and intentional bonding. We all would appreciate cohesion and harmony in our family, don’t we. Let’s strive to build a family culture so that our families become cohesive and joyful!