I love attending my school’s family day. It’s such a joyous occasion to see all families gathered up and supporting their children, their siblings, or their nieces and nephews.
School is one of the best places to witness the essence of family culture. Everyone, right from the kids to other members of the family, looks forward to being a part of the family day. After all, it gives the older generation an excellent chance to relive their school days.
Some families come in color-coordinated clothes. Some families even perform together on stage, and some are very conservatives.
One thing is obvious; they all have their own family culture.
What is family culture?
Family culture is a collection of your family values, standards and ethics, and traditions that your family adheres to; some of these are passed down from generation to generation.
Family culture is what makes your family unique as a unit. It is your identity; it is what makes you known. If you think your family doesn’t have an “identity,” you are mistaken. Every family has this!
Does your family pray together before sleeping? Does your family like traveling? Does your family love music? Does your family like reading? Does your family enjoy arts and crafts? Does your family have daily or weekly family dinners?
I know of families who finished school from the same university or college, and they would go out to watch their school’s games against their rival teams. I know of families who always go on vacation every summer. I know of families who are always joining fun runs.
These are some of the examples of family traditions that are instrumental in building strong families. These family culture examples around the world inspire us to have one for ourselves, too, that can contribute to building a strong family.
Why is family culture important?
Family and culture are inseparable. Yes, your family culture is important because, like your identity, family culture is what makes your family an integral part of your existence.
Family conflicts and challenges reveal just how important family culture is, as in the case of sibling rivalries.
Family psychologists and therapists stress the importance of building and cultivating a family culture.
When siblings fight, it’s not the frequency nor the intensity of those fights that define sibling relationships. Family culture and tradition build little moments that make up for the difficulties and conflicts.
By building our own family culture, we can protect our relationship with our family.
Family culture invites us to see how important the small things are. Through our family culture, we are able to come back to something when our external world becomes too demanding and too overwhelming.
Family culture is what makes our house a home to come back to.
How do you build your family culture?
Building your own family culture is imperative for building strong family values, which eventually help us to stay strong in testing times. Here are the steps to make your own family culture.
1. Identify what your family culture is
Families in different cultures function differently. So, it is essential to identify what culture prevails in your family without comparing it with others.
It’s not that difficult to identify what your family culture is. You can start by listing anything that seems to be a part of your lifestyle all down in bullets, or through a colorful and fun activity called mind mapping.
Mind mapping is a great tool to reveal what other things we can associate with the central idea. In finding out what your family culture is, you can put your family downright in the center of it the map, and from there, try to give “definitions” to your family.
You can add just simple words, values, or even activities that you are already doing. And you can make a separate mind map for values or activities that you would like for your family to work on.
Get a big piece of paper, some colorful markers, and start mind mapping!
By the end of this activity, you will have made a spider-like structure and an idea of what your family’s culture is.
After identifying the things that your family members associate with you all being a family, you can now begin to keep doing it and turning it into a habit.
3. Cultivate the importance of each habit
So, how to build a strong family relationship?
If one of the things that your family truly values is ‘learning’ or you wish ‘learning’ to be the ‘tradition definition’ for kids, then a scrabble game night on Fridays could be something that you could do as a way to reinforce the meaning of this value.
We do not only stop at building these into habits. We continuously reinforce these because there is value to it.
Having a family culture is important because it provides you and your children the loving safety net when things go difficult.
The idea behind creating a family culture is not to create a list of things to do. It’s about finding out what your family believes in, what your family values are.
Also, watch this Ted talk on family values:
As your lives continue to move forward, you will find out that some of your values or some of the activities that you have established as a tradition don’t fit your lifestyle anymore. That’s okay.
There are some activities that you will grow out of. But, do not forget that the essential part of these activities you’ve built are the intrinsic values that your family takes away from it.
Your family culture is what makes your family your own. Be proud of it and embrace it.
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Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.