Guiding Kids to Have Family Pride

“As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live” – Pope John Paul II.

Indeed. Whether we like ours or not, family is a big part of our personal identity – a union where we fall back to in trouble times. Ever seen those families who are so tight-knit that no arguments, differences, and distance could set them apart? Although every one has different vision of what a ‘perfect’ family should be like, strong bond is surely on every single list.

As parents, we wish to celebrate special moments with the family, to have a team of cheerleaders when working life is tough and to be the ones the kids rely on when they have problems among others. Teaching the kids to possess that ‘family first’ mindset is however a long process – and along the way, you would realise that as parents, you too are learning.

From family activities to communication tips – here are a few ways to educate kids to have family pride.

Talk about family

Show pictures from your olden days to the kids and tell them about your childhood so they can relate to you better as a person who used to be a kid. In other times, draw a family tree and show the kids their dedicated spots, to help them visualise their family membership. From early on, kids should get to know their grandparents, aunts and cousins through family visits. Getting to know the family is the first step in growing the sense of pride in kids.

Create family traditions

Growing up, you would remember certain food, certain gestures or certain habits that you used to do with the family. Memory lasts, and it is time you create new ones with your own family. Discuss with your spouse and kids about what everyone likes to do, and do it regularly as a family tradition. For example, if your family loves food – try going on culinary trips every month or so. If everyone likes physical activities, make Sunday a physical day, go swimming or have a Wii showdown at home.

Eat together as a family

Try to have at least one meal a day as a family, either breakfast or dinner. Bond starts in the dining table and food truly is the way to everyone’s heart. Besides, it is easier for parents to teach kids about healthy diet if they learn about ‘good food’ from homecook meals. During mealtimes, make it a point to not touch any gadget. Indulge in conversations and family company instead.

Involve each other in personal activities

Share about the work you are doing, in simple words, to your kids. In return, ask them about their activities at school or their peers. Two-way communication makes kids feel like they too are important members of the family, and thus feel that they belong. Another way is to attend the kids’ special events. Although it is increasingly hard for parents to do so due to time constraint, sacrifices need to be made. In return – the kids would learn about the ‘family first’ mentality now that we’ve set a good example in it.

Celebrate special moments

Get together and celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and special festivities. Decorating Christmas tree or making birthday cupcakes will teach the kids about caring as an action of love. In between, tell them what families mean, and how important it is to build a good relationship with family members. After a while, the kids would understand what families are for: to share lives with.

Watch family-themed movies and series

We had those Disney movies that we swear by, even until today. Spend time with your kids to watch ‘The Lion King’ and ‘The Parent Trap’ over a weekend, and get them to choose  the movie for the following week’s family movie time. Spend time, snack, and talk over meaningful movies can be more heartwarming than awkward family outings at the shopping mall. says:

It takes a lot of dedication as parents to show the kids that we are not just the police in their lives, but also loving parents and good friends. Teaching kids to be proud about their family does not mean spending time 24/7 with them – it rather means building a good support system for all family members through communication and quality time.

Nina Hidayat

Nina Hidayat survives life by heart and intuition (plus a bit of logic). In between voicing out through writing, she daydreams about clothes and shoes. Recently, she started 'Sepatu Merah' - a self-designed handmade shoe line dedicated for women. Life is a fashion playground, after all.