Some families are picture perfect. Others are, well, just perfect. They seemed to get along well with one another. They enjoy each other’s company and have a blast doing things together. You envy them. “Why can’t my family be like that?” You ask yourself. “What’s their secret?”
“Create a third culture,” is one advise I give to every couple preparing for marriage even though they may both be of the same race and nationality.
Like it or not, each family is different from the next, albeit so slightly. Couples will be courting disaster when one or both insists on doing things the way it was done in their own families.
What is a culture? MIT professor Edgar Schein describes it thus:
“Culture is a way of working together toward common goals that have been followed so frequently and so successfully that people don’t even think about trying to do things another way. If a culture has formed, people will autonomously do what they need to do to be successful.”
In short, a culture is a way a group of people think, feel, judge, and act.
As it goes with businesses, so it goes with families. Every family has a distinct way they work together to solve problems, achieve goals, and relate to one another. Family culture is the way parents bond with their children and impart values to them.
In nearly all parenting literature and programmes, much emphasis has been placed on parenting styles. It has been a source of many a conflict between parents often ending in a gridlock. However,
research has found that family culture plays a more important role in shaping a child than parenting styles.
Culture is created either by design or by default. Culture created by default tends to produce mediocre results because humans have a natural tendency to take the path of least resistance. When a company has not created a culture, it will spend most of its time correcting bad attitudes and habits. Companies with a good culture are usually successful.
A culture isn’t something that’s created overnight; it requires daily investment. But the payoff is definitely worth it. It’s up to you and your wife to determine what culture you wish to create and then commit yourself to years of constant planning and teaching.
More on Family Culture will be coming soon.Check back soon.