Corporations talk about their work culture. Sports players & coaches comment on their team’s culture. Upper-level management talks about improving their company’s culture.
Every organization has a culture.
Most organizations have had conversations, meetings, surveys, vision-casting and strategic planning surrounding their culture. They realize that if an organization’s culture doesn’t happen by design, it will happen by default.
The difference between an average company and a great company is often its culture.
Guess what? Each family is also an organization, and each family has a family culture.
How many parents have intentionally created their family’s culture, or has it developed by default? Strong families don’t happen by accident. It’s intentional.
As corporations strive to intentionally determine & develop their organizational culture, aren’t our families important enough to do the same thing?
Family culture isn’t how big our house is or how many toys we buy. It isn’t how many activities we sign them up for or what our favorite meals are.
Family culture is the values, priorities, habits, and experiences we choose for our family. It’s the atmosphere of our home. It’s what makes our family unique.
Strong families don’t happen by accident. It’s intentional.
Life is full and it is so easy to just let life happen to us. Same goes for parenting — the days are long and sometimes survival is the goal! Just getting through some days, especially the early ones, is a WIN.
We get it. We’ve been there. And, while our parenting is far from perfect, we have developed a clear vision for what we are trying to accomplish. We know what we want our family to be, and we are doing our best to walk in that direction. If we don’t know where we’re going, what are the odds we’re actually going to get there?
If we don’t know where we’re going, what are the odds we’re actually going to get there?
Creating an intentional family culture has dramatically changed how we parent, invest our time as a family, and spend our money. Determining our family culture has been an anchor for us, to center us on our core goals and vision as a family.
It’s the foundation on which we make decisions for our family.
because it’s intentional.
Whether the topic is playing video games, getting an allowance, having a phone, doing chores, education — we’ve had the conversation, and our game plan is intentional.
In any organization, culture starts at the top.
Culture starts with the leaders. Parents, that’s us!
In our homes, we are called to be thermostats, not thermometers. We can’t just read the temperature in our families; we need to set the temperature. It is our God-given responsibility to be the leaders of our homes, lovingly guide our children, and set them up to be all God has created them to be.
We are called to be thermostats, not thermometers.
We need to create an environment of love, fun, grace, peace, adventure, faith or whatever elements we determine our homes should contain.
We need to be intentional.
Families need to intentionally create a family culture.
Whenever we speak on this topic, parents want us to tell them what their culture should be. What should we do about an allowance? When should we give our child a phone?
We can’t answer that for everyone, because every family is different. But, once a family has created a well-developed family culture, the answers to these questions become clear.
Honestly, the process of discussing, praying, brainstorming, and establishing our family culture was so valuable to us that we wouldn’t want to cheat anyone out of that valuable process!
Our family culture was birthed out of asking ourselves two major questions. Two questions that guide our parenting and our family culture.
Just two questions. Are you ready?
1. What do we want for our child long-term?
When our kids leave home at age 18, who do we want them to be?
We need to start there. We need to begin with the end in mind.
Because the truth is, we are not raising kids. We’re raising adults. Our kids will be adults waaaaaaay longer than they are kids, and it’s our responsibility to prepare them for their adult life.
The truth is, we are not raising kids. We’re raising adults.
We’ve written an entire blog post devoted to asking this question that links to a printable step-by-step guide. We don’t answer it for you — that’s impossible because we’re not you! But, we do include additional, more detailed information on the process and follow-up questions you can use to design a family culture.
So, now you have a list of values, qualities, skills, experiences you hope for your child. For each thing on the list, ask the same question.
This question transforms your dream into a plan.
It catapults your goal from “just talk” into an action plan.
Whether it’s a character trait or a chore to learn, one question can guide your way to creating an intentional family culture.
You get the idea. Ask this question, over and over, and set your plan into action.
There’s also a more detailed post on this vital second question, including a link to the printable step-by-step guide.
Let’s do this!
Everyone has their own list of things they want for their children, and those things won’t happen by accident.
Having a plan also won’t guarantee our kids will develop every quality we want for them, either — they are unique individuals who make their own choices.
But, we can do our best to set them up for success. We can pave the way for them. We can live intentionally and create a family culture that increases the odds for our kids to be who God created them to be.