Creative Child

The Story of Home

Creating Family Culture
by Rebecca Eanes

7 Pillars Continued...

Pillar #3: Expectations

Norman Vincent Peale said, “We tend to get what we expect.” I’ve found this to be quite true. If I expect to have a difficult, rushed day, I will have one. If I expect my children to get on my nerves, they will. Expectations are important because they color the way we view people, things, and situations. What you expect from your partner sets an example for what your children should expect of theirs one day. What you expect of yourself (whether too much or too little) is also being catalogued in your children’s minds.

Going further, what you expect from society, politicians, servers, police, etc. is being learned. What you expect in regard to lack or abundance, hardship or blessing, good luck or bad is being passed right down to your children, as are your partner’s. It’s easy to see how all these expectations play a part in shaping the family culture.

Pillar #4: Habits

Like our values and expectations, children pick up our habits, whether good or bad. Therefore, it is wise to drop any habit you don’t want your child to pick up. We must drop the “do as I say, not as I do” nonsense and realize that it is our example that speaks the loudest. Also, of course, some habits are just detrimental to the family and must be confronted before they cause lasting harm.

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Pillar #5: Communication

Positive communication skills build positive bonds. I’ve written about communicating positively with children here. To summarize, this includes active listening (listening for the purpose of understanding, not just waiting your turn to get your point across), using respectful language and tone, empathizing with the speaker, being direct and assertive, and avoiding criticism and harsh words.

Pillar #6: Conflict Resolution

Even in the most connected families, conflict sometimes arises. Though this is really part of positive communication, it is so vital that it deserves its own discussion. This involves emotional intelligence and peaceful ways to talk the issue through and reach an agreement. This is a skill that takes a lot of time and practice to master and should be modeled in the home by the adults as well.

Pillar #7: Traditions

Traditions and rituals help every member of the family feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves. They solidify the family unit. I’ve written about the benefits of family traditions in this post.

Research has shown that family culture may play a more important role in shaping children than parenting style, and the type of culture a family creates strongly predicts happiness. This is the story of your home. Write it with vision.

Related Article: 21 Days to Positive Parenting

Rebecca Eanes, is the founder of positive-parents.org and creator of Positive Parenting: Toddlers and Beyond. She is the bestselling author of 3 books. Her newest book,Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, is more than a parenting book, it's a guide to human connection. She has also written The Newbie's Guide to Positive Parentingand co-authored the book, Positive Parenting in Action: The How-To Guide to Putting Positive Parenting Principles in Action in Early ChildhoodShe is the grateful mother to 2 boys.

 

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