I hear a lot of talk about building community. We like to make plans for building intentional relationships with people to help, support, and join together. It’s important for us because after all we are human, and we were created to connect.
It’s important to have a culture of connected people – living openly, giving freely, and loving unconditionally.
But a “family culture?” I had to admit to myself the first time I heard that term, I really had not ever thought about anything like that before.
I wondered to myself:
How would I define my family in one word – what would that one word be?
Or how about this question: what is one family activity I wouldn’t want to live without?
What makes our family rhythm unique? What traditions do I want my kids to remember when they are grown?
And why are these questions apart of the #Back2School in #31Days series?
Well, as we get ready for fall activities, school, commitments to our communities, and all the other non-summer busyness – there needs to be one thing that stands as a focal point that defines what it means to be a part of our family.
Or I will find myself exasperated by November trying to do everything and not doing anything very well.
This will encourage you to build your family culture around books.
I was listening to the one from New Year’s Eve and she was talking all about starting a “reading streak.” Where as a family, they commit to reading aloud everyday for as many days as they can. 100 Days, a year, or maybe more!
This is a great goal and activity that will naturally encourage family bonds, conversations, and memories – all brought about through reading aloud together.
It was also where I first tuned in to her words “build your family culture around books.”
I think it’s worth recommending that we take time to consider what our family culture is. What is it on its own, and what we want it to become (and the steps it will take to get there – like a reading streak.)
Here are my 2 things to consider when building a family culture:
- List the things you do as a family on a regular monthly basis that are non-negotiable. Like, eating dinner together every night. Talking a family walk every week. Listening to music while baking. Reading either alone or together. Taking a Sunday drive. Playing games together. Or maybe it’s something completely different. Whatever it is, it is yours – it’s one of the best things that makes your family unique.
- Write your Parenting Purpose Statement (get your free downloadable guide here) and examine who you are and how that distills what is the best focus for your goals and activities.
There are so many good things to be focused on as an individual and as a family, but to truly live a fulfilling life I feel it is important to know how you are each wired. Dr. Kathy Koch has written a great book on the 8 Intelligences which is so practical and helpful in recognizing what makes us tick. I recommend taking time to observe yourself and your children and write out how each member is smart.
The next part to creating a family culture is a little tricky: try to pick out one thing that unifies all your smarts and makes your family unique.
I believe that by narrowing down what we are about to one major thing it becomes easier to cross things off our list of options and save space on the list for what’s most important to us.
By looking at each month on the calendar as an opportunity to build our family bonds and enrich the soil of our souls, we all live with more intention, peace, and purpose.
So, today’s challenge is to define what my family is all about.
In our family we: eat dinner every night together and share about our day, play music together, discover new places together, read before bed together, and learn new things together.
My family culture revolves heavily upon an evening routine. Noticing this I can begin to plan ahead by looking at the next 6 months and seeing how to prioritize keeping our first things, first.
I want our family culture to be so rich and meaningful that it impacts those around us. I don’t want the culture of the world in which we live to be so strong that it comes into our home and changes us.
A family culture is worth creating and protecting. It takes planning and prioritizing. It’s one of the biggest blessings of being a family.
Further reading (& listening):
- 1st Read-Aloud Revival podcast :: Andrew Pudewa on why reading aloud is even more important for children who are old enough to read on their own.
- Anne of the Modern Mrs. Darcy on family traditions
- My post on parenting with less guilt and more efficiency and the free downloadable guide to writing your own Parenting Purpose Statement
- I summarized the 8 Intelligences on Simple Homeschool right after I met Dr. Kathy for the first time. This resource changed my life.
- Dr. Kathy also has a great series of videos on her website summarizing the 8 Smarts and the 12 Qualities of Genius
This is Day 8 in the #31Days to #Back2School series; check out Day 1 and the Index by clicking here.
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