You hear a lot about branding these days.
Companies work hard to establish their brands in the public consciousness.
Branding is not just for the business world…………..
Families too, create their own brand. All families project an image about how they function. The image is usually a reflection of the prime values that parents promote and can also be a reflection of the personalities of family members.
Think of any family and you’ll more than likely be able to sum them up with a few words. I‘ve heard one family described in this way. “The Smith family is loud and boisterous but they’d all give you the shirt of their backs.”
The Smith family brand may be built around the values of tolerance, fun and generosity.
Your family brand is not only a reflection of how other people see you and what you stand for, but your family brand plays a big part in what sort of adults your kids will become (I’ll explain this part below).
The following four aspects contribute to the family brand:
- Family atmosphere: What’s the atmosphere like in your family? Is it serious or is it fun? Is it warm & encouraging or is toxic & critical? Is it relaxed or do people walk on egg shells? Is it open or are their secrets no one talks about? You can impact on the atmosphere by consciously adopting the mood and mindset you want. If you want an upbeat atmosphere in your family then you can set the tone by being upbeat, positive and enthusiastic yourself.
- Shared values and attitudes: Children’s values and attitudes usually reflect parent priorities. Step back and look at what your kids have in common and that will tell you a great deal about your parenting values. If they are all independent, even your most dependent child, then it’s likely that independence is a shared value. If all your kids are tolerant of others then tolerance is shared value.
- Parenting style: Your parenting style will influence the family frame. For instance, a permissive style, where anything goes, often produces a chaotic family style where respect for others is lacking. The preferred style that fits today is an authoritative style that is akin to a guided democracy or a benign dictatorship.
- Family rituals and traditions: Rituals not only anchor your kids to their family but they make a statement about what you value. My family, for instance, is BIG on noisy, all-in discussion type mealtimes, which is reflective of our family as a place to speak out, but respect others at the same time. What family rituals and traditions do you hold dear? In many ways, rituals are iconic representations of family-life.
So take a minute or two to reflect on your family frame. What are the values your kids have in common? Think about the rituals and traditions you are establishing. Reflect on your parenting style and that of your partner. Think about your regular family atmosphere.
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