Episode 33: How to Create a Healthy Family Culture

What if you could shape your family culture based on shared values, behaviors, and beliefs? In our conversation, we explore how to teach children values through example and action and how to effectively explain the ‘why’ behind these principles to our kids.

We look at naming your top 10 values as parents, sharing them with your children, and witnessing how our routines and habits reflect these values. We also explore the role that family rituals and meals play in nurturing connection, stability, and well-being, ultimately crafting a family culture that promotes learning and growth. It’s never too late to be more informed, aware, and intentional in our parenting, which can cultivate a family culture based on respect and belonging. Join me as we explore how to create a healthy family culture!

What you will learn on this episode:

– Strategies to unlock the power of intentional parenting and influence your family culture positively.

– The significance of embracing and sharing common values in parenting.

– Ways to cultivate a family culture that fosters respect, love, and identity formation.

– Understanding the power of conscious parenting in creating a strong and cohesive family culture.

– Link to studies discussed: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0044118X98030001004

Let’s Connect! 

I absolutely love to hear your thoughts and get your questions. 

You can email me at:  Leighagermann@gmail.com

I can’t wait to hear from you!


This podcast is not intended to provide mental health treatment.  Leigh Germann is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and not a doctor, psychiatrist or psychologist.  She does not provide diagnosis nor offer therapy through the LeighGermann.com website or in the information offered on the website. It is important that you do not disregard professional medical or mental health advice or delay seeking professional medical or mental health treatment because of any information on the LeighGermann.com website including but not limited to blogs, newsletter, videos, podcasts, e-books, programs, webinars, courses and other services. Leigh Germann and offerings on LeighGermann.com are not providing legal or financial advice, business advice, psychotherapy, supervision, religious advice, or medical advice. The information contained on this Website has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

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Hi, and welcome to leadership parenting. Wow, we are in episode 33 and I’ve been thinking a lot about the content of what we’re studying and about our leadership parenting journey, and I know I’ve shared with you all before my vision for leadership parenting. It’s first to help you, as a parent, get centered, and this has really been my life’s work, literally one by one, sitting with people and helping them find their essential self. That essential self, that concept that you are valuable and that you are separate, that you are whole, valuable and wise, that concept can really get lost in our experience of life. It gets covered up by the erratic and kind of those survival goals of our brain, giving us thoughts that distract us and scare us and make it seem like we aren’t enough. And then, of course, those thoughts create feelings in response, and this is where we get the anxiety, sometimes that really heavy sadness, the irritability, the anger, and, of course, from there we have actions. We behave in response to these feelings and a lot of times our actions are focused on getting rid of our feelings, trying not to feel them, which puts us in a vicious circle, spinning farther and farther away from that core, quiet place of power that we call your essential self. So this kind of describes our human problem, and so far this year, we’ve spent over 30 episodes talking about this, breaking it down into pieces and parts and starting to get our power back so we can make our decisions from that core, centered place of being, because this is what leaders need to do for themselves before they can really lead effectively. 


As a parent, this is our calling, it’s our job. All too often, we’re trying to do it with our hands tied, trying to teach things we don’t yet understand ourselves emotional regulation, self soothing, value-guided decision-making, resilience. Well, I am just excited about what we’re doing here, and I hope you are too, because when you take the time to listen to these episodes and start to see yourself for who you really are, start to see your children for who they really are, and your skills are increasing in knowing how to lead yourself and lead them, you are harnessing your own internal power. This is the foundation of parenting. Happens completely separate from our kids, nothing to do with them, not directly. It starts with us, and I’m so proud of us for doing it. The next step is getting this power, this goodness, to our children so they can live from the same powerful place. 


I’ve been asked hundreds of times what do kids need to be well, what do I need to do as a parent? What did you do in your family? As a parent, I’ve laid awake in bed for so many hours over the years trying to figure it out, because I think it really matters. People are so hungry to know and it’s hard to pin it down to one or two things right, especially because we’re talking about families that have individuals, different, unique aspects of every family. When I say there’s no one right way, I really believe that, and yet I do believe that there are some significant right ways, important things that need to happen that are critical for our children to get all the things they need to develop fully and freely and to minimize that injury and to build resilience. 


I’ve been a parent for 34 years. I’ve been a student of human development and resilience for almost 40 years. I’ve had a lot of time to observe and think through this and I’m convinced that the family is critical to the healthy development for a child, and not just being in a family, but being an intentional family that has awareness and understanding of what children need. And I’m not alone in believing this. We have really good research that studies the family unit, that studies the developmental needs of children and how, when we put those two things together with awareness, education, understanding and purposeful intention, children thrive. Children need us as parents to give them this really tight and safe space to learn all of those nuanced things they need to be an emotionally healthy adult. 


It is such a big job. I get a little emotional when I think about it so many times as I’m sitting in my office with someone who’s struggling. It stems back their struggle. It stems back to something that was missing for them in their development and please know, as a parent, I’m very sensitive to the fact that we get blamed for a lot of things. Parents have this big job and we’re doing the best we can. I really believe that the problem is that sometimes, a lot of times, our best can be better. 


I wish I had a time machine to go back into my early years as a parent and redo some things. And I wish I had that same time machine to go back into my clients families and give their moms and dads some more support, some more love, some more ideas of what they could do better in order to hold on to and nurture their hurting child. Well, we can’t go back in time, but we can take the knowledge we have now and put it into action. It is never too late to be more informed, more aware and more intentional in what we do with our families, because there are things we can do in our families and in our parenting to give children more of what they need, and it’s all about cultivating our relationship with them. This, this, is what we need with our kids the kind of quality relationship, this kind of intention that says I value you, I prioritize you and I commit to you. 


My theory and I’m not alone in this, by the way my theory is that we literally plan for our children to be securely tied to us. A better way to say that is that we create a family system that is so secure and safe that our kids want to be at home. Even if they venture out, get stuck, get lost, make mistakes, struggle, the family can be big enough and strong enough to hold them. And it becomes this learning place of safety, a secure place where kids learn how to deal with their feelings, the hard ones and the pleasant ones. Where mistakes happen, repair happens and kids get to form their identity based in respect and resilience. 


In the research, there’s actually a name for this. It’s called family culture. I think this is the answer to those hundreds of questions I get about how to raise a healthy family. How, how do we do it when each family is different, each child is different, each circumstance is different? How do we raise productive and secure children? Well, I think the answer is it’s through deliberate and intentional taking charge of your family culture. I get so excited when I talk about this because, in the face of all the stress and opposition we face in raising our kids, here is something we can actually do to make a difference and we can kind of use language and labels and words to explain it, ideas that we can put into place. It doesn’t have to be so abstract and such a mystery. So let’s talk briefly about what the building blocks of family culture look like. 


Your family culture is a kind of living, breathing vehicle that lets you carry your children through their childhood, from one place when they’re young to another when they’re an adult. You can also think of it as a container that holds space for the things you want to give to and teach your children. So family culture consists of three things shared values, shared behaviors and shared beliefs. Let’s break these down a bit. Values are the things that matter most to you. We’ve talked a lot about values in this podcast particularly. You can go back and listen to episode number four to get a refresher on that. 


I can’t say enough about the importance of clarifying your own values and teaching them to your children. We, as humans, need this anchor. Values deeply, hold us on this course in life that gets us where we want to go and they give us our direction. Literally, knowing our values can direct us, and family values define what your family is going to do to get through life, to learn the lessons they need to learn to get their needs met. Some of the things that family values do. They help a family consider what is right or wrong and help us make decisions. 



Values give us a sense of identity. These are the things that matter to us. They say this is who we are. For instance, you can have a value of essential self, believing that your child is whole, valuable and wise, no matter what they do, no matter what feelings they have, no matter what. Think of this value and how that impacts our children and how they feel when they’re around us and how your family handles big feelings and how they handle mistakes. This value alone can hold a child through really hard challenges in life. It can really help them set their identity. Families with defined and shared values are able to stand strong on things they believe in, even when other people challenge or threaten them, and they provide this kind of insulation against negative influences that might threaten a child or even threaten their relationship with their family. Think of a child feeling so aligned to their family values maybe of honesty or of safety or of health that they can say no to peer influences, no to drug use or risky behavior. And when a child makes mistakes, strong family values can make space for them to seek out support from their family, to be honest about the things that have gone the way they wanted to, to feel safe enough to return and be directed and even encouraged by their family. When family members feel tired and worn out by the challenges in life, our goal is for them to be able to come home, come to the family, for a safe place to connect and be held. So shared values do that. They bring us together with common goals and they give us meaning. 



I’ve heard the argument recently that we should not teach children values. It’s a relatively new argument only in the last decade or so but I think it’s a dangerous one. It goes like this let kids figure out what matters to them, don’t teach it. Don’t teach them. Don’t tell them what you value. It is such a mistake. 



The truth is that each one of us has a journey in developing our own values. When you teach your values, you’re not taking away your child’s choice for choosing what values they are going to implement in their adult lives. You’re simply helping them begin the process of selecting their values. It starts with borrowing value, most importantly from parents and family people that a child trusts and then children learn and apply, prune and self-select which values most align and work for them, and the self-selection part of values occurs later in development, after children have had the chance to learn and adopt some values. It’s not supposed to happen in the beginning. Kids need to be offered values to try on and practice, and what I’ve found is that if you don’t lend your values to your children, someone else will. 



We see this in areas where parental influence is absent, in some really challenging circumstances where parents are not there at all. We see studies where gangs come in and fill the gap, groups of children, teaching children right and wrong, and much of the time that leads to immature decision making, even dangerous decision making, in our history. In Nazi Germany, the government instilled values that superseded those of parents, and a whole nation of youth were led into that way of thinking, led away from their families. In some places, schools can end up teaching children values that they think are most important and inadvertently or purposely influence children to follow educational values, school values rather than those of their family. Your job as a parent is to not abdicate this responsibility. Our job is to be thoughtful, mindful of our values that matter to us and that we believe will protect our child, and then share those values in our families and offer them to our children. If we don’t do it, someone else will. This requires us, as parents, to know what values are important to us. 



We can start with what society calls universal values, those societal values that embody a broader cultural way of behaving and believing like. An example of this would be respecting human life, respecting property, respecting the laws of the land, honesty in our interactions All of these things from a societal viewpoint. If they’re rejected by a citizen of our country, they would be punished with a fine or a prison sentence. These are examples of what we might call universal values Societies require. They are built upon the necessity of children learning universal values. This is what protects life in our world, and teaching these values protect our kids so they can move through society. But on an even more powerful level, I believe, are the values you hold that you believe will be good for your child to have in their life, the ones that you would add to these universal values that you wanna teach in your family. Things like respect, safety, hard work, kindness, compassion, loyalty, honesty. The list is really too long to repeat here. You can go back to episode four in the show notes and see a list of values posted there to get an idea of the menu of values we have to choose from. It’s very long, very cool list. 



Values are the base of our family culture and the reason we need to be clear on what we value as parents, because our job is to choose the values we’re going to build our family culture upon. Our kids do not choose them. We choose them and we teach them to our children. So I want you to think about your top 10 values, the things you really care about and what you want to pass on to your children. Sit down with your spouse and find out what their top 10 values are and then put your list together. Ask yourself what do you I want my kids to know when they leave my home? What will help them in their adult lives? What will help them be successful in their work, in their personal experiences and relationships? What will help them be good parents to children? And as you sit down with your spouse and you have this discussion, you find out what their values are. You share what yours are. 



You start to kind of have a little visioning session of you know, what would our child look like at 18, 19, 20, 22, as they leave our home, what do we want them packed in their value suitcase? What’s there for them to hold on to, to guide them and to help them? And you might decide to add some values that didn’t come to your mind right away after you do this visioning exercise, because you’re looking at your child and maybe you’ll remember what helped you, or maybe what was missing from your childhood that you didn’t learn until later in life, maybe things you wished you’d known earlier. Great visioning exercise. I even want you to put it down on paper. Ideally, if you can record this, you’re going to want to have a hard copy of it. You don’t want to have a value list that is a secret document. In fact, you want it to be a public document, something you really have at the forefront of your mind that you can look at, that you can see that your kids know about. It gets talked about, even around the dinner table. As your family grows and your children get old enough, you can create a family value statement. You can explore what values mean and put them up on your fridge so everyone is aware and can see them. 



The hallmark of family culture is the word shared Shared values, shared behaviors and shared beliefs. So consider your values and then get ready to share them with your family. The next element of creating a family culture is what you do, your shared behaviors. This includes your habits, your routines, your rituals, your traditions. All of these are action words, ways we behave in our families that put action to the things that matter to us. Kids learn by doing, and we want what we do to reflect our values, the things that we care most about. Once again, a great exercise to do yourself and with your spouse. Look at your routines, look at your habits that you have in place already and ask what values do these routines habits? What do they reflect? 



I was thinking about some of the behaviors we had when I was raising kids. Habits we put into place like brushing our teeth, washing hands, taking showers or baths you know that personal hygiene stuff All of these may seem just like there are no brainer things you do to stay healthy, but isn’t health a value? An example of a habit when you teach a child to brush their teeth, you’re teaching health and care for the body. We can go one step further instead of saying you’ve got to brush your teeth, we can say we brush our teeth to protect those teeth because when you clean them they stay healthier longer. Simple principle, simple teaching. We’re actually tying them back to one of our values. 



An example of a ritual when you gather around the dinner table and share a family meal, you’re acting on the value of belonging, of connection, of using a daily need of being fed as your vehicle to get other really important values involved. Maybe you say a prayer before dinner. Maybe you go around the table and talk about the good and the hard things that happened that day, or maybe you ask each person to just talk about their day. Think about that one ritual, a family dinner, and how it can be a vehicle for so many important things we want to bring to the forefront in our children’s lives. This was a big one for our family. 



I had a really strong desire to have family dinners together, and we had to get creative sometimes and work schedules around a time that everyone could be home for dinner. Why not just feed the kids early and then have the adults eat later? I have clients ask me that all the time, especially clients that are struggling with many different schedules husbands that come home late, children that have to go to bed early. It seems like such an easy solution and you can do that, but you miss the opportunity for connection, conversation and even the prep and the cleanup that happens when we work together around having a family dinner. My kids would say do I have to be home for dinner? Why Can’t we eat somewhere else? Can’t I heat up a plate of food later? Yes, of course, but our family prioritized dinners together at least several times a week. I mean we weren’t super rigid about it, but I needed to make sure that we had that vehicle in place several times during the week. 



It was a ritual that kept our kids close and connected, and there are great studies on this one family ritual, on family meals, how they influence the family culture on so many levels, far beyond just feeding children. In one 2016 Canada study of family physicians, they found that family meals served as an arena for family cohesion, stability and connectedness and offered a venue for checking in with family members. So, right, there is the value of connection. The research also suggests that eating meals together as a family benefited adolescents’ eating habits and that more frequent family meals had been found to lead to better dietary intake among children and adolescents. So there is the value of nutrition and physical health. And researchers also began to study the role of family meals on markers of adolescent well-being, such as rates of substance abuse and disordered eating behavior. A recent review looked at family meals and adolescent risk prevention, showing a generally positive relationship between frequent meals together and decreased adolescent engagement in risky behavior. So this one ritual impacts the family in so many ways. And we have research, really cool research, and this is just one study. I’ll link that in the show notes as well. But research giving place to teach and build value-based principles, helping children feel safe, connected and even more healthy physically. 



Of course, having family dinner might not be your way to teach those values. You may have another way, and any particular way is not the key to being successful. It’s about having some way or ways that you do it in your family. This translates literally to everything we do that is at all focused on things that matter to us. 



For instance, I remember my auntie telling me to sing to my babies when they were little. Sing to them, she said. They won’t understand your words or the things that you are saying, but they will remember music. They will remember the distinct sound of your voice. She told me that a doctor told her that when her daughter was an infant my cousin she needed a heart surgery to close a little birth defect that was a hole in her heart as a little baby. And the doctor explained that children have a separate part of their brain that recognizes music, that recognizes voice and sound, even before they recognize language. And this surgeon told the parents of his little patients to sing to their babies before their surgery because he could always count on a mother singing to that baby to help settle them if they were distressed or in pain, and that he’d even had a baby that would not come out of anesthesia and the only thing that brought that baby back to consciousness was hearing his mother sing. How cool is it to have a doctor use the power of a mother infant connection to take care of his patients? 



As a new mom, I took that to heart and I used music singing to literally tie strings of security and love to my children, and then I chose songs to sing that delivered messages that were also value-based You’re safe, you are loved, you belong, you can do brave things. This worked for me, and my children sing the same songs to their children, giving them the same value-based messages You’re safe, you are loved, you can do brave things. What rituals do you have in your home that convey these messages to your children? Bedtime routines, reading, snuggling, saying prayers, singing songs all of these things create memories and connections that secure the relationship with our children and teach them values. Think of your rituals how you greet your children in the morning, how you greet them when they come home from their day at school, or at night, what do you do at bedtime? Rituals are actions that reflect our values, and there are so many things you can do repetitively to offer the most important messages and teach your children your values. 



Now let’s think about rules. Think of the rules you have in your home. I remember one of my daughters coming home from babysitting having seen a list of rules on the refrigerator of the family’s home where she worked. It went something like this we tell the truth, we don’t hit, we say thank you, we don’t call our sister stupid head. My daughter was just a teenager, but she was fascinated by the specific nature of the rules and commented on how hard those parents were trying to teach their kids deeper lessons of being kind. 



Think of the rules you have, how they pointed things that are important to you and if you have rules that don’t align with your values, look at why you have those rules. I remember we had a rule for a while at the dinner table that there was no singing. One of the kids asked us why do we have this rule? My husband and I looked at each other and we couldn’t really answer it. I think it was left over from one of our grandparents family rules. So we dropped that rule. Laughing, being silly, even singing was allowed around the table, as long as it was respectful and people got to eat their dinner. 



So think of the rules that you have that work for you, and how they work to convey what you really care about, and how some of them might do better with a little shift or change so they align better with what you value. Now think of your traditions the way you celebrate birthdays and holidays, the ways you might use food, meals, gifts, giving, service, play, vacations, exploring, learning. What traditions do you have in place and what might you want to create to teach the values that you care about? I think children love celebrations where we put effort and time into something, and it can really teach a lot of things, primarily, that we have a family that cares about us, that we care about the thing we’re celebrating. It might be religious observance or honoring people that have died, or celebrating accomplishments. All of these meet the needs of belonging. This makes the family a great laboratory for meeting all of those needs. You may have a different list of rules, a unique set of rituals, your own kinds of traditions. That’s okay. In fact, that’s part of creating a unique family culture. These are your values, your vision, your gifts to your kids. What matters is that they’re thoughtful and they’re there and you’re using them to raise your children to adulthood. This creates family identity. 



My son recently told me he was able to do some really hard things in his schooling and his training because he’d learned that Germans can do hard things. Honestly, I don’t remember formally teaching him that. I don’t remember ever writing it on a paper or putting it on the fridge. But I do remember our kids did hard things. They had chores. Each week they got up early to help clear neighbor’s yards when it was needed clean the church building. They stuck with it in sports teams and kept commitments, even when it was hard, and they often complained and that was okay. Heck, I would even complain sometimes. But we did have a vision, a vision that we wanted to pass on to the kids of service, sticking to commitments, supporting and loving each other through hard times. We could do it and he learned that he had that in him to do those hard things for the right reasons. I recognize I learned that from my dad, my mom. I watched them do hard things. My husband learned that from his parents. We talked about wanting our kids to know how to do that too. So there are a thousand little things that happened over the years that taught that through example, through our formal teaching and through our informal teaching. 



So if you were to write out what your family does that shows what you care about, what would you say? Our family shows up for each other. We’re loyal. Our family loves unconditionally. There’s room for mistakes. Our family has fun together. Our family challenges each other to be brave. Our family is safe. It’s a loving, safe place. 



Think about what you want to say about your family and then start to create habits, routines, rituals and traditions that can teach those values to your kids, and then try to live them yourself. Kids don’t learn values like they learn a math equation by exposure and memorization. They learn by exposure and then application. They learn as they watch us act on our values and as they get a chance to also do the same. Think about how you spend your time in your family. Does how we spend our time match what we value and what we want our children to learn, and how can we add in things that do a better job of showing and living what we care about? They say that values are caught, not taught, so as parents, we want to plan on doing things, behaving in ways that align with our values, because our family culture begins with us. 



Finally, the third layer of building a family culture is shared beliefs and at first, when I began studying how to create family culture, I thought we would identify our values, then teach our kids to believe them and then we would act on them, do the behaviors. So it would go in this order Values, beliefs and actions, thinking that those beliefs understanding the values are going to be the things that really help us learn them. I feel like this is how it works when we’re older and we’ve gone through the growth process and we’re more mature. I mean, I do hard things. I get up with babies, clean my house, eat my vegetables, go to bed early when I really want to stay up late, drive the speed limit All these things I do because I get it. I have the belief that they connect to the things I value. But it didn’t start out that way. When I was a kid, I brushed my teeth because my mom said I had to. I ate my Brussels sprouts because I didn’t get dessert until I ate vegetables. I cleaned my room to get my allowance and in most of what I did, because I tried to please my parents. I didn’t always quite get it from the value-based perspective. The belief wasn’t instilled deeply within me at that point. 



In our families, when we’re teaching values to our kids, we actually have to teach the actions or the behaviors before we wait for the beliefs to be instilled in our children. How many kids do you know that think like an adult, that think about the long game, the big picture? Kids’ brains are still developing. They are self-focused because they’re developing their identity. They don’t have the ability to truly understand how another person feels Not yet they’re working up to that. So they may have to learn to say they’re sorry even before they actually feel sorry. It’s one thing to say you’re sorry for hitting your brother or taking that toy, or telling that lie, I’m sorry is the behavior that illustrates our family’s value of connection and kindness. But lots of times we say we’re sorry without that underlying belief that really connects to the value. I’ll say I’m sorry because I don’t want to get in trouble by my mom. Or I have to say I’m sorry to get dessert or get dad’s approval. What we’re really wanting is for a child to have the shared belief that each person in our family deserves respect and to feel safe. So I’m saying sorry to repair our relationship and restore our connection. That’s the big picture goal, right? We want our child to feel that sorrow because they really get the value. And our goal as a parent, ultimately, is to have our kids do the right thing for the right reasons, because they get it, because they’re motivated from within to live the value, whether that be politeness or working hard or making safe and respectful decisions. We can teach those values, help kids act on the values, but we don’t get to choose the timing when children adopt those values for themselves and start believing in them and aligning with them. So we keep teaching values and we keep teaching the behaviors and it’s important we don’t get too upset if our kids aren’t really getting it, if they don’t have the beliefs yet. That takes time. 



I remember my son going off to college and calling me one day to complain about how dirty his roommates left the bathroom. Mom, I can’t believe. It’s so disgusting. I had to teach them all how to clean a toilet. It was a glorious day to hear my son extolling the virtues of a clean bathroom. How many years had I supervised his chores and thought he still doesn’t care about this? He did the chores as a child because he followed the family culture, even without the belief quite yet, and eventually he caught the belief of why it might matter to him. 



This is why you will get a letter or an email or a text or a phone call one day from your child, maybe thanking you for something or recognizing your hard work. During their childhood. This comes when they’re on their own for a while or when they’ve become a parent sometime in the future, when they catch the vision of the values you were teaching them and they’ve adopted it for themselves. Those are sweet phone calls, great gifts for all of our hard work. They come later. 



Maybe the most important and the hardest part of creating a family culture is the part we can’t do for our children. It’s instilling within them the beliefs and desires to live the values. They need to catch that belief and that vision on their own. And this is why we need those close relationships so kids can trust us, they can follow our lead, even when they’re not quite sure where we’re going, and hopefully we can explain to them why we do what we do the bigger picture of why they’re being asked to say they’re sorry or work hard at something or tell the truth and why they might choose to care about this one day. This happens through practice and patience and time, so our goal is not to create many versions of us to do things exactly like we would. 



The goal is to give some basic values to help protect and guide your child through the sometimes rough and rocky roads of life. They will take the best of what you’ve offered them and make it their own in their time. We need to be such a safe, consistent and loving place for our kids to trust us and try on this kind of learning, and it’s amazing that they follow us, that they trust us. They start doing the things we ask them to do and over time it will start to make sense to them. I get so excited about this because, when it comes to raising children, it can just sometimes feel like we’re throwing a dart and hoping somehow to hit an invisible target. We don’t even have a clear vision of that target sometimes and we don’t know what to do to get to it. Creating a family culture gives us all of this the language to understand what our goal is and some ideas of how to go about it. So over the next few months, in other episodes we’ll be talking about the three elements of developing a family culture One, identifying our values. Two, acting on them through traditions, rituals, routines. And three, helping your kids understand and adopt the deeper meaning to all the things they are doing. 



For now, I invite you to think about your childhood and the family culture you grew up in. I want you to notice the things your family did to teach you values, and which ones you’ve kept and which ones you’ve discarded, and why. I invite you to think about the behaviors in your family, what you did as a family, what your traditions, rituals, routines were that held you together. And finally, think about the beliefs you held then and how you came to believe what you do about the values in your family now. Of course, we’re going to take all of this information and apply it to your current family, whether you’re just beginning to raise your kids, if you’re in the thick of childrearing, and even if you have grown children and are passing values down to your grandchildren. 



Family culture is a powerful force for good and it can be created and supported no matter where you are in your timeline. 



So keep holding to that vision of what your child needs now and at each stage and what you want them to be equipped with when it’s time for them to be on their own. This gives you a vision of your role, so you know what you’re trying to teach and why, and then you’ll get to see what your job actually is. Your family culture will provide a safe haven in an ever-changing world that can cause kids to feel insecure. This gives them a sense of identity, a sense of meaning and purpose, and it makes your job as a parent so much easier, because this culture now becomes an entity that can carry your family along through the good and the bad and the easy and the hard. It’s the most powerful work anyone can ever do, and it has ripples into the future in a way that is so exciting. So thank you for listening today, and I hope you’ll be looking for values, hugging and appreciating your kids and feeling that inner strength your family culture has to give to you all. I look forward to talking with you next week. Take care.

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