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Brand Your Family

on 12/04/2013

Cutting-edge competence gives rise to high achievements. Which parent doesn’t want to see their children to go far in the future; but the main issue here is, how should parents go about nurturing their kids to high achievers?

It all boils down to a fundamental- family brand, before children are ready to equip themselves well. Family brand influences the attitude of your children significantly. How you define your family, will understandably be how your children are going to define themselves. Invariably, family brand comprises four major focuses, namely family atmosphere, parenting style, shared values, family rituals and traditions.

Family atmosphere- Tuner of emotions

Every family has its own distinctive tone, giving children the message regarding what is the most important for family. Bear in mind that we don’t cause children to make certain decision. Instead, we set the environment to help them identify what is important for them.

So, how much do you know about your family environment? Serious and silent all the time? Filled with bountiful of joys? Is that all you know about it? According to Alfred Adler who has improvised the original ideas of Edith Dewey, generally family atmospheres can be categorized into the following:

Atmosphere

Associated attributes

Democratic

Fair, respect, reasonable, and safe to express disagreement

Authoritarian

Absolute compliance

Perfectionism

Extremely high expectation

Competitive

Success-oriented, always strives to outdo others.

Materialistic

Material possession outweighs interpersonal relationships

Suppressive

Rejecting (no freedom to express opinions)

Over-
Protective

Prevent children from experiencing unpleasant encounters or undesirable consequences

Over-
Indulgent

Children are spoilt and treated like prince or princess.

Inconsistent

No consistent discipline, often associated with abuse.

Inharmonious

Constant quarrels

Disparaging

Always criticize to make children appear worthless.

Rejective

Make child feels unaccepted; favouritism often arise when there are more than one child,

Martyrdom

Violence  and physical abuse

Pitying

Do not see pity as form of disrespect for the child.

Hopeless

Pessimistic

Justifiably, democratic atmosphere will prepare a child for sociable living and competence- with which the other kinds of family environments can hardly equip him. You might want to ask: “Is there I can do to change the environment?” You can, of course. If you would like to change the tone of your family, you need to make a head-to-toe change- provided that you are willing to make the first step by changing your view about life and attitude towards environment. Believe that the positive change in yourself will bring about a chain reaction, making everyone of your family to be influenced, especially your children.   

Parenting style- Tuner of personality

Imagine if your child accidentally breaks a glass mug that you like the most, how will you react to him? Howl at him as if he did a grave mistake? Check if he injured himself and reason with him? Regardless of what reaction you can have, it reflects the parenting style you adopt- and this imposes lifelong impact in your child’s future endeavor.  Out of the four general parenting styles-namely authoritative, authoritarian, indulging and uninvolved parenting-authoritative parents are the ones who nurture their children into socially competent, independent and self-disciplined individuals. Assertive as authoritative parents can be when it comes to implementing family rules, they still can be supportive and nurturing to their children, as to acknowledge their efforts. Basically, what most of us should do, is to avoid ourselves from being overly-strict or over-indulging. Much as we want children to bask in boisterous joy, we should always take control of the fine line of discipline if the needs arise.

Besides, one way to give your children a sense of involvement, is to involve your children in laying out family rules. Feeling that their voices are listened to, they will be more encouraged to do their bits for family. And it serves as a good platform for them to make decision.

Shared family values- Tuner of attitude

Family values, the rules or ideals that each family member agree to abide, can be different from one to another. This is also what makes each family unique, and only strong well-defined family values form strong family bond. Since everyone is unique being with individual values, does that imply there can be endless list of shared values? Exactly- but some of the common values are such as belonging, flexibility, communication, respect for traditions, honesty and so forth.  

So, how to make sure family values understandable to family members? Schedule family meetings or even share meals together. Then, get everyone to discuss about topics such as how members spend the day, interaction with others, communication and others. Take the discussions as the opportunities to share your family values; if there is contrast in values, gather the inputs from them and see what changes can be made. On top of it, the best way to instill the shared value in your children, is to convince them with your actions! For instance, to inculcate positive belief in children, don’t just say “Why can’t you show anything better than this!” to them when they got poor results; instead, encourage them with this, “Don’t give up. Keep your fighting spirit up! I’ll be looking forward to your performance next time.”

Family rituals and traditions- Tuner of family bond

Rituals or traditions are the repeated or habitual activities that bind family members together. From mealtimes, family gatherings, until occasion outings, ensure the participation of every family member. It serves to call forth discipline in the children, as they will have better sense of managing their time without compromising their family time. Besides, these are the only opportunities for everyone to understand each other better and to create fond memories together. 

So, are you geared up to build up your family brand? If it’s yes, good for you! But bear in mind that you should take your time to make changes in the four aspects as stated. Be slow but steady. Time and patience will see you through, as long as you have the will! Good luck!