Changing Our Culture (Part One)

You are going to be president of the United States!
Someday you are going to write a best selling novel!
I bet you play that violin in the Kennedy Center someday!
You are going to be on Broadway!
When our children are born we KNOW they will change the world. They are going to be leaders and culture changers!  Then they hit puberty and we wonder if they will ever remember to put their shoes away!  Don’t despair! The inner-leader and culture changer still lives inside!
Remind yourself that your kids were created for GREATNESS!
Our culture needs change-makers! 
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Culture can be defined as “the social behavior and norms found in human societies” according to our favorite source, Wikipedia.
When your children were at home you created a culture for them. In your culture you might have:
  • Eaten meals with utensils
  • Asked everyone to put away their own dishes
  • Set regular bedtimes
  • Encouraged teeth brushing
  • Snuggled
To evaluate what culture you created ask yourself:
Did our culture allow loud voices?
Did our culture encourage throwing balls in the house?
Did our culture use slang or swear words?
Did our culture value other’s property?
Was it a culture of cleanliness or messiness?
Did everyone wear shoes in the house or “get comfortable”?
Was truth valued above “messing up”?
Was progress the goal or was perfection the aim?
All those answers add up to what kind of a culture you were building: formality or casualness; closeness or distance; transparency or appearances?
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Think of a situation 10 or more years ago when things weren’t going well at home. What happened to change that culture?
When Ted and I were first married we valued accomplishment in our home culture. The more speaking gigs, business trips, appointments, engagements and demands on our time the better we felt about ourselves.  We set a goal to be “booked solid” every day and every night.  That led to a culture of distance in our marriage. After 10 years of building that culture, I prepared to walk out.  No longer did I want to live in a culture that supported a distant relationship with my husband and our two children.  Ted responded with a RADICAL culture change.  He resigned from his job, had a giant garage sale, and loaded up a U-Haul trailer to move us to Houston, Texas.
He changed the culture of our family for the rest of our lives.
Sometimes we need a drastic culture change to build the life we want. 
If you want to change the world—start at home.
Culture begins at home. Here are a few of the ways we changed our culture in our home so our kids could change the culture in the world:
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  1. Start small.
Change the atmosphere in your home by being positive when others are negative.
  • Reward encouragement.
  • Discourage complaining.
  • Encourage everyone to make someone else’s bed and do chores for one another.
  1. Encourage uniqueness! 
Encourage everyone in your home to “stay in her swim lane!” The ones that play frisbee— encourage them to be the best and teach your younger siblings to do the same. Piano as a gift? Enjoy that music without forcing all the take lessons!
  1. Ask for forgiveness. 
Teach children not to run from problems or mistakes but instead run TO them. Admitting mistakes is a HUGE leadership lesson that needs to be learned early! Model asking for forgiveness— especially from your adult children.
  1. Practice perseverance
Teach them that anything worth doing is HARD. Teach them to KEEP AT IT. Culture changers work for years on projects no one sees and no one believes are worth the effort.
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  1. Evaluate what is read, heard, viewed in your home
Culture is what we live. What we read affects our attitude. What we see affects what we think. What we think affects what we do. What we do affects those around us. Those around us ARE our culture. They are not the MEANS to the END of changing culture. They are the culture itself. They live it every day! 
 
Change the attitude, the thinking, the behavior and you change the culture
These are ways to THINK about culture changing in our home. Next week I am going to talk about a broader picture with more ACTION ITEMS.
What is the culture in your home? What have you done to RADICALLY improve it?
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I would love to hear your stories of the culture in your home!

Author: Dr. Johnnie K. Seago

Johnnie Seago is a national conference speaker who is passionate about building leadership in families. As the mother to eight adult children, she desires families to learn to connect and communicate to build a community of support. She extends her leadership and team building experience to schools, businesses, and civic groups. Johnnie’s messages equip leaders to: Find their strength in the design God used to create them Find their purpose for which God created them Partner with others for support in reaching goals Commit to the dreams God has placed on their heart Become accountable for their success as leaders Johnnie’s ministry to families includes: Helping families transition from childhood to adulthood Teaching parents to communicate with their adult children Working through difficult situations as teens become adults Providing resources and ideas for productive grand-parenting Johnnie and her husband, Ted has been married for 40 years. They live in the suburbs of Houston, Texas on a lake where they enjoy boating and water sports and the occasional day of floating and reading.

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