What Is Your Family Culture?
By: Janet Plankenhorn, LMFT
Every family has a unique culture. Think about how your family functions together. Does your family enjoy sports? Maybe you watch local games together either in person or on television. This can also mean going outside and playing touch football or basketball. Does your family like movies, bike riding or reading books? Do you enjoy playing board games or card games? Does your family eat dinner together? Do you have bedtime rituals? Does someone in your family love to cook? Is your family creative? Do you enjoy crafting, art or painting? Do you enjoy being outdoors or indoors? Does your family have rules? Is your family associated with a faith community? Do you love to travel?
There are many questions that you can ask yourself to come up with your unique family culture. What are your passions? What is your favorite family memory? Does your family have goals? Do you have special family rules?
Grab any time you can to have fun together. Makeup silly songs or play quick games on the car ride to school. Cook dinner together, or bake cookies. Honor each other’s passions. If one person in your family likes to be indoors playing a card game and another prefers being outdoors riding their bike, take turns and make time for both.
Eat dinner together as often as you can. This is a special time that families can share their day with each other. This ritual helps children to communicate, which can help them to build strong relationships outside of the home. It teaches children about structure. Showing up for your kids at dinnertime is important; it shows them that you love them and that they are worth your time. In today’s busy world, parents struggle with time management due to opposing schedules at work or late night sports practice, etc. and it’s difficult to come all together every night. No parent is perfect, do your best to have at least one parent present during dinner. Make Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights the special nights where everyone can gather for dinner. Your family can come up with themed nights, such as pizza night or taco Tuesdays. Make it fun!
Finally keep the atmosphere of your family loving and safe. Set aside a place in your home that is only used for relaxation and rejuvenation. Be present for your children and most of all listen to them. If your children know that you are truly listening to them they often tend to share more. Contemplate writing up a family mission statement together. Remember that every family is unique, what is your family culture?