In today’s podcast, we talk about creating culture with the Family Name. We used our family name to instill identity and culture into our kids.
We are beyond excited to(re)introduce our family and share the heart behind starting Crazy Cool Family!
It all started with our oldest daughter Mollie, who gave us a crazy idea, to write a book! Our book is called Crazy Cool Family.Each kid has a voice in the book and in today’s podcast! They answer our questionsabout family and growing up in the Manning house.
In our book, we talk about rethinking the way you do family. We specifically focus on pursuing God, building relationships, and creating culture.
Creating Culture is the Focus Today. Let’s Go!
We start by introducing our kids from oldest to youngest. Some are married, some are in school, but all of them love Jesus, each other, and us!
Who Are the Manning Kids?
Mollie: oldest, married, and the one in charge
Madeline: second, married and loves to play basketball (her words)
Macy: third, married, and brings the emotional dynamics and fun games
McKenzie: middle, brings the depth, and one-on-one intentionality
Michael: oldest boy, in college, and bridges the older and younger siblings
Maddox: second to last, semi-new driver and loves to explore
McCade: baby of family, middle school, Maddox is his main parent (his words)
What DoYou Think About Being a Manning? What Was Different About Your Childhood?
“We learned early on how hanging out with each other was the first option. Mom and Dad always said our siblings were our God-given best friends! They come first!” – Mollie
“We also did not spend the night at people’s houses. Our parents wanted us together under one roof and since none of us got to do it, we were okay with it.” – Mollie
“Thankfully the younger crew (Macy-McCade) had less strict parents. We got to spend the night, but we had the rule of no double sleepovers (2 nights in a row).” – Michael
One thing we did as a Manning family is encouraged the idea of “standing alone, together.” Suzanne found creative ways to illustrate to our kids how standing alone is healthy, good, and God’s design. She would remind them we are set apart and God gave us each other to stand alone, together.
The fruit of this culture revealed itself as the kids grew up.Each kid benefited from their sibling’s good reputation. In school, church, and other areas of influence, the older kids chose to live set apart lives (not perfect, but different). This gave the younger kids favor and confidence to stand alone in a world that screams,“fit in.”
Remember parents, kids don’t know what they don’t know. We get to go before them and help cultivate their view of the world.
Each family is different, and you create healthy rhythms and boundaries for your family by investing time and energy into your culture.
Using the family name to build your family’s culture helps kids learn good from bad, or right from wrong. It gives you and them common language.
What Other Things Did Mannings Do?
Intentionality: We found creative ways to build family culture
Open Conversations: We were ready and willing to talk faith, politics, and anything we wanted to opened up about
Experiences: We kept a balance between protecting innocence and being honest about the world we live in
Remember parents, the goal is your kid’s heart. Everything we do is in pursuit of them. We are called to lead them to Jesus.
The heart is connected to their identity and we can use the family name to help them see the significance they have in the family God has placed them in.
Here’s a Few Encouragements for You!
Encourage Creative Play!
“It creates a lifelong ability to create fun in any season of life! It’s worth it to pull your kids away from screens and help them develop creativity and fun!” – Macy
Intentionality Starts at Age 0!
“Phrases, declarations, concepts from growing up still go through my head because I’ve learned them my whole life. Speak outthe culture you want to see and believe in faith it will happen!” – Madeline
Failing is Progress, Never Forget Grace!
“We knew Mom couldn’t play with them 24/7 and neither can you, parents! Give yourself grace if you’ve had a hard few days, months, or seasons! Today is a new day and you can start being intentional today!” – Mollie
Talk About Spiritual Things with Your Kids
Drip spiritual concepts into your family and allow the Holy Spirit to grow the seeds.
Mollie shared a great example about Bash disobeying by moving cans and ultimately hurting his little fingers. Even though he is 1 ½, she shared with him the power of listening to authority and how disobedience pushes us outside God’s protection.
He is so small and barely understandsall her words, but she faithfully planted the truth in his heart. We invite you to speak truth in love over your families and allow God to work.
“Finally, building relationships can be hard, but keep it simple.” -The brothers
Don discovered this to be true with the boys. He saw doors open when he simply learned what they liked to do and joined in! Here’s a couple things the boys said happened when Don did this:
“It opens the door for deeper conversations.” – Maddox
“Meeting us where we are shows he cares.” – McCade
“Dads! Just do what we do, no matter what! Even if it’s a hard work out and you’re 50!” – Michael
“By being with them, creates a foundation for spiritual conversations and it’s worth it!”- Don
Culture is Contagious
We know it takes time and energy to build culture, but it is worth it!
When family culture is prevalent, the older ones kids start sharingwith the younger siblings. You may hear your older son/daughter say, “Hey! We are best friends. I am coming with you!” or “(Family Name Here) don’t say those words.”
We believe in you! We promise building your family name is valuable beyond belief!
How can you start intentionally speaking into your family today? Pick 1 or 2 ways and do it!
If you have a question or a parenting issue that you’d like us to discuss in a future podcast, email us at [email protected].