Rush, rush, rush, scurry, scurry hurry up! That’s the tempo of the modern family in today’s culture. On some mornings as I’m warming up my car, I can see the family across the street rushing and scurrying to get everyone out the door and into the van for the daily drive to school. I’ve noticed a lot of shouting from the parents and resistance from the kids. They don’t have a lot of children and yet, watching them reminds me that indeed the climate has changed in the culture of the family.
What does the morning look like in your family? Is the atmosphere cool, calm and collected? Is it a pleasant climate, where everyone greets one another with “Good morning” in a pleasant tone of voice? Is everyone yelling, “Where’s my keys?” “Mom I told you we’re suppose to wear a college tee shirt to school today!” Kids GET IN THE CAR RIGHT NOW OR YOU’LL WALK TO SCHOOL!” “Dad, I have my first football practice today, can you get off work earlier so I won’t be late?” “You’d better practice your spelling words while we’re riding. Remind me to sign your homework. We got home so late I forgot last night!”
There is no such thing as the “average family” anymore. Families are very very different in dispositions, gender makeup, size and the norm of multiple-generations in the same house is coming back in style! Parents seem to organize the household around the activities of the children rather than plan time for family dinners at the table…the back seat of the SUV serves as the eating meals together control center these days. Yes indeed, the climate of the family culture has changed alright! Lately I have asked several parents what their family culture is like. “What’s that? That was the response I received most often! There were some pretty wild guesses, no one got it right!
According to the American Institutes For Research, Family culture is the unique way that a family forms itself in terms of rules, roles, habits, activities, beliefs, and other areas. Every family has one, those that were interviewed just didn’t realize they had one! Here are several questions that will give you a clearer idea of your family culture.
1. How does your family value getting together for fun? Is it a priority or just something you do sporadically if at all.
2. How does your family divide up the household chores? Does it happen around gender? Females cook and clean and males do outside work or home repairs?
3. How important is it to your family to eat meals together?
4. Does your family have an Activity Board hung where everyone can see one another’s schedules?
5. How important is music in your home?
6. Does your family’s communication style focus around technology? How often do you talk to one another for more than 10 minutes technology free?
Understanding your family’s culture is crucial to how the children in your home must be dressed for the current climate change. Tones of voices during conversations can play a huge role in the climate of respect in your home. Honoring one another’s property and space is something that will spill over from your home to the school and workplace and may not be acceptable.
Yep,families come in all shapes and sizes! we can not assume that the culture and climate within the homes of children today are in step with what we as educators and child service providers expect to see. In the Part 111. the final blog of The Climate Change series, The Children’s Coach will offer some ways we can help you assess some of the needs involving health and wellness and provide some practical suggestions to dress the children of today for the climate change!