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Can you quickly describe your family culture? Or are you, like I was when first exposed to the terminology, not sure what it refers to?
WHAT DOES FAMILY CULTURE MEAN
The easiest to understand description of the phrase’s meaning that I’ve seen is this: this is how a stranger might describe your family after meeting and spending time with your family members for the first time.
FAMILY CULTURE EQUALS CORE VALUES OF THE FAMILY
I would say that your family culture is basically the sum of your family’s core values. Do you want to more about things that qualify as core values? I did, so I did an internet search for “core values” and then again for “Christian core values”. I thought you might be curious too, so I will list many but nowhere near all of the values I found listed in a few places.
It would probably be instructive to hand out these lists to your family members and ask them to choose their most important values from the list. They could also add values that may have been left off.
WORKING WITH YOUNG PEOPLE ON CORE VALUES
Now I have to be truthful, if I were going to do this with my girls (who are currently above thirty years of age) at a young age, I would cast the eye of a skeptic over their lists before accepting them as is. I would want to see if there was anything raunchy, silly, or just unrealistic compared to my knowledge of them. If I saw raunchy or silly, I would tell them that these things were unacceptable and remove them from their lists.
If, however, I saw things that seemed unrealistic compared to my knowledge of them, I would discuss it with them in private. I would want to know if this was just a case of unrealistic hopefulness, or guilt over what they feel they should want, or what. These things should be discussed in greater depth.
VALUES TO THINK ABOUT
There are many lists of value on the internet. If you’re interested in seeing them, a search on a search engine will bring them up quickly.Your family culture may consist of some of the following values, plus possibly others not listed here:
Most counselors I have read suggest that you should pare this list down repeatedly until you have left the five values you and your family consider to be the most important ones to you. You may have to go through this list many times, looking up definitions as needed, and comparing one word to another, to get to the values you care about most.
Incorporate Your Values Into Your Life
Once you have those values chosen, I would suggest that you make a list and post it in several areas of your home, so that everyone is reminded often of what you all want to become.
It would also be helpful to incorporate these family values into a family mission statement. This is a written document that states the purpose or goal of an organization. Thus, it would state what your family hopes to contribute to your community and to the world overall. An example can be found below:
Develop a Family Mission Statement
“The Hagerty Family holds itself accountable, to Our Lord Jesus Christ and to each other, to be kind, respectful, and grateful to others and ourselves. We declare it to be of great importance to us and to our Lord that we continually learn about and continually grow in the Way of Christ. We also enjoy life with fun and humor incorporated daily.”
I would love to hear any ideas you have for your family mission statement, too. Let us hear from you in the comments!