Sunday, November 4, 2012

Creating a Family Identity

Question: What did you do to create a sense of family identity (family motto, slogans, heritage stories, particular traditions, etc.)?

Answers:

Karen and Lance
Most of the big things we do become Family Traditions, holidays, camping, planting the flowerbed on Mother's Day for Dad and so forth. We've never made a motto just follow the ones from our ancestors. We have told the children and grands our heritage stories and they have made some up about all of us. We also have Waffle Sunday for all our grandchildren that are around us in college and for the family near too.

Rachel and Bennett
The best thing we did to foster family identity was to relate often stories of ancestors, which built a pride in our family.  Ideas such as family motto, etc. never did stick.

Jane and Samuel

"We do this because we are a family."  To remind kids to remember who they are and stay out of trouble we would say "Boiled cabbage stinks!"  The tradition for Christmas eve was for all of the children to sleep in the same room and tell or read stories and not let anyone out to sneak a peek.  We would hang up a curtain so no one could see the tree and presents till all were ready and we had to "milk the cows" and have breakfast before any presents which meant that we would not be opening presents until long after the sun came up!  We often put up the tree where the presents went on Christmas eve....finding a poor rejected tree that no one had wanted, giving it a name and a purpose.  Most years we also did a secret santa project.  Always Sunday dinner together, church together, and usually home evening.  Visits to grandparents also helped keep the family identity going.  Looking back....we could have done more....happy the kids turned out so awesome in spite of our failings.

Cynthia and Brad
We had no family traditions as you describe. But, being converts, we did and still do, spend a lot of time discussing what a miracle it was that we found the gospel as a young couple with two small children, and we have stayed strong, and our children and grandchildren also. It made us determined to keep the family strong and close. We realized that we had changed the destiny of our family line as neither one of us has any other LDS relatives. 

Marsha (and Richard)
We do have a family motto and scripture, but we haven’t done much to promote it. However in 2000 we printed up a necklace for each of the girls with a scripture reference on it.  I would have to say that family ski trips, vacations to cousins, time spent together around the dinner table or working in the yard or home, church and neighborhood activities, celebrating holidays with lots of traditions all contributed.

We spent our evenings in the home.  We always had dinner together at 6 o clock which gave us time to share our day.  After dinner our children were home in the wintertime, which gave some good time for family.  TV was limited on school nights so they learned to play with each other a lot. They could go to scheduled events, but they were not just out on the street with friends after dark.  Also, Sundays were family days when we stayed together.  We usually had a nice meal and included relatives when possible.  One set of grandparents lived close and were very loving and supportive.

Because we had a large family the younger children learned to appreciate their family name because of the example set by older children.  Teachers often identified them as family members, so they felt a sense of responsibility to their brothers and sisters to continue a good reputation.

Each morning we had scriptures and ate breakfast together before school and we spent our Monday nights together, attended church meetings and sat together, went to ball games, plays, and recitals as a family as much as practical.

We traveled to a neighboring state and spent time with my brother’s family for vacations.  Time spent right in their home made us closer.  They also came to our home on Spring Break, etc.  They are all still close. 

My family had family reunions and now we have family reunions and get together as often as possible.  It is one of our greatest joys that our children take advantage of every opportunity to gather. They love to get together. We usually have some kind of planned family gathering every two years and most of the family gathers spontaneously as often as possible. When one family comes into town, everyone gathers and often others who live away plan to come at the same time.

We now have a family text, which allows us to share little happenings with everyone at once…that’s fun and handy.  When someone replies, everyone gets the message.  This gives them an opportunity to share, tease and compliment one another.  The teasing tends to win out.  Our children have a good sense of humor, which is another good bond as long as it is in good taste.

Kenneth and Catherine
The best tradition we have added to our family in recent years, now that they are all married, is to have what we call "Conference Reflections."  We get together for an evening shortly after General Conference and each of us share a message from Conference that has especially touched our lives.  It is a most spiritual experience together.

Next week's question:
Did you ever do any homeschooling? When and why? What's your opinion of homeschooling?

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