When we think or discuss culture; it’s usually about race, place, and differences. These mixtures of differences make the world a unique place to live… with all different traditions, languages, clothing and of course my favorite… the foods! However, we rarely discuss and rarely stop and examine the culture closest to us and right in our face… The culture of our home and the culture we instill in our children. Isn’t this the most important culture we have and one we are personally responsible for? The culture you choose to instill in your children will reign for generations; impacting them, their relationships, and your legacy long after you are gone. So, let’s do it right and EVOLVE!
It’s easy to bypass the intentionality of implementing culture into your kids and family life… with all of the Have-To’s of your day and being “Busy”, time easily slips away. But, be careful you are not choosing “Busy” over “Better”! Studies say, if you take away the amount of command statements parents use: “Do this”, “Don’t do that”, etc… the average amount of time parents spend speaking with their kids is an average of… 3 mins per day… Wow!!! Think about your own life, household, children, and the amount of “real” conversation (not command statements) you have with your children. The culture you create will be implemented through your words and well as actions… Our words matter!
I recently overheard a family in action… and it became clear within minutes their culture was hard work. I watched as the family worked together to complete a task. The parents and kids worked as a team, took very few breaks, and it was said repeatedly they were going to be “Strong Men”. It became evident that “Strong” meant physical, hard-working, tough, and task-oriented… among other values, I’m sure. As difficult as the work was, the kids never complained and appeared motivated to please and achieve! Why? Because the culture was set and ingrained. Whether this is the culture you choose for your family, household, and children are up to you; it’s important to know what YOU want it to be and to START as early as possible! The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago… if you didn’t, then the best time is now!
Observing the family, allowed me to process my family, my children, and our culture. It was clear that their definition of “Hard-Work” of the family I described was not the culture I was instilling… so what was it? We all instill an Unconscious Culture in our children… and we all have a Desired Culture we’d love our kids to pick up! The unconscious culture is simply how we behave, speak, and what we do regularly. Your children have picked up on it from birth and mimic it without you knowing… whether they speak like you, don’t do their dishes like you, value the same thing, etc. With teens, don’t worry… it’s hard to tell… as they are separating from their parents and traveling around the “Dark-Side of the moon” to figure themselves out! They will come back around and shock you with how much you have instilled in them. The Conscious Culture are the dreams you have for your kids. These are the things you want them to do, be, and fulfill because YOU know their lives will be better and their dreams will be fulfilled if they do them regularly.
In careful thinking of my Conscious and Unconscious Culture, I realized I have focused on: Free-Thinking, Independence, Dream-Fulfillment (chasing your dreams and vision of success in all roles), and Standing-Up for Yourself. Having the opportunity to observe the other family without comparison, judgment, or competition… allowed space for EVOLUTION for me to add to my kids’ and family’s culture. It’s OK to see another family or parent and admire what they’ve created and instilled in their home culture. You can steal a bit of it and bring it home to yours… whether it be hard work, or a stronger focus on academics, or mandatory family time, designated no-cell phone time, quality family time, etc.
What is the culture of your household? What are the 2 or 3 things you admire regarding the functioning of your home/family? What would you like to add or change? Do you know your partner’s answer? Your kid’s?
Written by: Andre Young
Take the pain out of your company by enhancing Leadership and Work/Life Harmony in your Company, your Teams, and Employees with Andre Young’s on-site Leadership Training Program and Speaking Engagements! Download my App, YEN Push and allow notifications to enhance your Leadership, Personal Leadership, and Work/Life Harmony! Enjoy your EVOLUTION!!!