Why Family Identity Matters

How Belonging Helps Families Stick Together Forever

Where do I belong?

Acceptance, association, attachment, integration, fellowship – all of these word describe what it means to belong.

Where are you accepted? This place, with those people, is where you belong. But what does belonging have to do with family identity? I argue that, as parents…

Providing our children a place to belong within the family is one of our most important roles. {Tweet}

And developing a strong, family identity can do that. Read on to learn more…

a strong family identity encourages a sense of belonging

Why You Should Develop Your Family Identity:

If you haven’t answered the question for yourself already, here are four reasons we should help our families develop an identity.

1. Belonging is a Basic Need

Renowned American psychologist Abraham Maslow places the need to belong just one rung away from safety in his hierarchical pyramid of basic human needs.

Social psychologist and Ph.D’s  Roy Baumeister and Mark Leary argue that the feeling of not belonging results in severe consequences. They even propose love without belongingness leads to disappointment. Where love with a feeling of belonging leads to joy.

(You don’t have to go any further than Wikipedia for these gems, y’all. This idea isn’t new – it’s that obvious.)

{Just do a Google search like this one for more references.}

2. Families Are Our Priorities

Also, families are often the most important aspects of our lives – we aspire to have them, we spend the most special days of the year with them, we put them before work (or try to) on our lists of priorities, and often times, we base our individual self-worth on what our family achieves.

But we spend very little time intentionally unifying them, strengthening them and growing them, so that they stand up against the world. (Family vacations are fun, but often times not good enough!)

3. Families Are Our First Chance

They are there before your playmates. They are there before your classmates and before first dates. The first relationships you form, in most cases, are ones with members of your family.

So for most of us, it’s hard to deny that…

Our family is the first opportunity each of us has as a human being to belong. {Tweet}

4. Family Is Lost

Okay, maybe it’s not totally lost just yet. But I’m not sure how many breadcrumbs we have left, and the road ahead is getting dark.

Some say divorce rates are up, and marriage across the board is down. Some say it’s all not as bad as it seems. Here is some quick research on family life, if you care to dig deeper.

And though there are definitely arguments on both sides of the data, no one seems to be claiming family life is thriving. The word “stable” has not been used.

More importantly, however, I can see, with my own two eyes, through personal experience, that family’s fate is uncertain. My family of origin lost its way long ago, and my own divorce has torn my family apart. I’m stitching my new family together right now – I’ve seen all three.

Can you see it?

And every time I recreate it, my family’s identity changes. {Tweet}

Loyalties shift, priorities shift, values realign. Then, we are all confused about where we belong and what we belong to.

I know I’m not alone in trying to navigate the reality of family every day. In many ways and for many of our families, the world is a war zone! But despite the chaos of war, our culture expects us to stick together through thick and thin! (How?!)

My childhood was not peaceful. As a child, belonging is not something I ever thought about – I was always just trying to either survive my family or help them survive the world. Even now, developing a family identity is a hard concept for me to grasp.

And that’s why I feel like parents need a resource like {TFB} to help inspire the development of family identity.

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