Good Life

Fathering | Creating a family culture

As a father, I often think about how my own dad helped build a family culture, one in which we all worked together toward common goals. He provided an atmosphere in which each of us felt comfortable expressing our opinions during dinner table discussions and around playing games or doing other family activities.

A family culture is, in short, a way each person in the family thinks, feels, judges and acts, and the impact it has on the family dynamics.

As a father, you play an integral role in helping to create a culture that helps to meet the needs of every household member.

Action ideas

Help promote kindness, mutual support, respect and family fun to create a positive family environment. One idea to start with might be creating a sign that includes your own family rules (e.g., be respectful of each other at mealtime, respect of other’s possessions, etc.).

Discuss with your family the norms, the spoken and unspoken rules such as who is responsible for what chores (spoken) and the importance of being kind to one another (unspoken). By doing this, you help to build family consensus and continuity.

Consider pinpointing the rituals and traditions that provide your family with a sense of identity and purpose.

Rituals and traditions can include family reunions, special activities around the holidays, family dinners and game nights.