What Does It Mean to Be Family Oriented?

Being family-oriented can mean different things to different people, but it usually boils down to how much you cherish and prioritize your family in your day-to-day life. Personally, I think it’s all about the everyday actions that show your family that they are your top priority.

You might wonder, “What exactly does that look like?” I get it—it’s not something we always think about consciously. But don’t worry; we’ll cover some clear, simple ways that show what it really means to put your family at the center of everything.

Maybe some of these already sounds just like you—or at least how you’d like to be!

Making Space and Time for ‘Family Time’

Life gets busy, doesn’t it? Between meetings, errands, and everything in between, it can feel like there’s just no time left. But here’s the thing—making time for ‘family time’ is like hitting the pause button. It’s about making a conscious effort to put aside the hustle of daily life to connect with your loved ones.

So, how do we make this happen? Well, it can be as simple as setting a regular movie night or turning dinner time into a no-phone zone. Or maybe, marking some Sunday mornings in your family calendar specifically for family activities.

Consistency is key here, I believe. These small routines can be incredibly meaningful.

"...If you’re family-oriented, you prioritize time well spent together. You don’t sit scrolling your phone while your child tugs at your trouser leg, wanting your attention.

• You focus on them.
• You are present with them.
• You listen.
• You play and laugh together.
• You make space and time to be with them wholeheartedly, rather than being distracted with your mind elsewhere."

Sophie Slosarczyk | Parenting and Wellbeing Blogger, Mamas Find Your Voice

Always Sticking Up for Each Other

Standing up for each other means having each other’s backs no matter what. It also means offering support, advice, or sometimes just a listening ear.

This could also show as:

  • Cheering for your kid at their soccer game, even when they’re missing every goal.
  • Standing by your sibling when they decide to quit their job and pursue art.

It’s not just about being present during the victories but also during those messy, not-so-great days. Moments like these show that you’re not alone and that family is your first line of defense.

Being There During Tough Times

Life isn’t always smooth sailing—sometimes, things happen. But being family oriented means being there for each other during these challenging times. This support can come in many forms, from emotional encouragement to practical help. It’s about showing up when it matters the most.

Think back to a time when a family member was sick or going through a rough patch. Being there might mean:

  • Sitting by their bedside
  • Running errands for them
  • Simply listening to their worries

The message is clear: You’re not facing this alone.

Celebrating Big and Small Successes Together

Successes come in all shapes and sizes, and celebrating them together as a family is a wonderful way to show your support and happiness for each other. It creates an environment where every member feels valued and encouraged.

And it’s not just about celebrating the big leaps like getting a promotion at work; celebrating the little things matter too!

Maybe your teenager kept their room clean all week, or your child learned to ride a bike, or maybe your spouse finally mastered that particularly tricky recipe. Tossing in a “Wow, you did great!” or “I’m proud of you!” can really lift spirits.

These celebrations don’t need to be elaborate; they just need to be genuine.

Sharing Day-to-Day Responsibilities

Sharing daily responsibilities means teamwork, and isn’t that what a family is all about? It’s one of those practical parts of being family oriented that perhaps doesn’t sound glamorous, but believe me, it builds incredible bonds.

Think about it:

  • Maybe the kids set the table while the adults cook dinner.
  • Perhaps weekends involve group efforts in yard work or running errands.

This sharing of tasks not only lessens the load on everyone but also instills a sense of contribution and cooperation. Plus, it makes the mundane tasks a bit more fun when done together.

Keeps in Touch with Extended Family

Maintaining connections with extended family—like cousins, grandparents, and even family friends—adds layers to our lives. It keeps traditions alive and strengthens the bonds that form our heritage.

Sure, everyone’s busy, and sometimes, cousins live continents away, but a quick video call during birthdays, festive seasons, or even a simple text exchange, can make all the difference.

"Spending time with extended family is also very important to us as a family unit; having close relationships with those we love is invaluable to our wellbeing. These relationships are priceless and instill moral values and social interactions that cannot be taught, only learned by experience."

Lauren Vacey | Artist & Entrepreneur, ilaStrate | Homeschool Mom

Planning for Family’s Future Together

When families come together to discuss what the future looks like, it helps everyone feel involved and valued. Think about having a casual family meeting to talk about plans:

  • Saving for a family vacation
  • Discussing college plans
  • Even small goals like redecorating a room

Including everyone in these conversations not only ensures that everyone’s ideas are heard but also fosters a sense of unity. I think it’s a beautiful way to align family values and aspirations.

Valuing Opinions of Family Members

In a family-oriented home, everyone’s opinion matters. From the little ones to the oldest, everyone gets a say.

For instance, maybe your kids have a say in choosing the weekend family activity, or your spouse’s input is considered in making important decisions. In my experience, even a simple “What do you think?” can make a world of difference.

When family members feel heard, they feel respected, and this fosters a strong, supportive family environment.

Maintaining Balance Between Work and Family Life

Ah, the eternal struggle of work-life balance! But managing this balance is crucial for being truly family-oriented. It means you’re not always glued to your laptop past dinner time, and you make sure to be present, both physically and emotionally, for your family.

We all know work is vital, but so is being present at home. Here are a few practical tips:

  • Plan family activities in advance and stick to them.
  • Set clear work boundaries—when work ends, it really ends.
  • Make sure to attend your children’s school events and family gatherings whenever possible.

From my experience, it’s not always easy, but it’s about finding what works best for your family. It shows that they are a priority, which, trust me, means the world to them.

Leading and Setting a Good Example

Leading by example might be one of the biggest clichés, I know, but it’s a cliché for a reason — because it’s true. When parents or older siblings show values like kindness, honesty, and hard work, kids notice and often imitate these behaviors.

I mean, kids often mimic what they see, right? So, whether it’s consistently showing respect to others, fulfilling promises, or handling conflict calmly, you’re teaching them through action. It’s one of those “actions speak louder than words” moments.

"Savvy parents must also show their kids the value of self-knowledge and self-respect through both guidance and modeling. We must be critical thinkers who help our kids understand who they are in this world, what they think, and what kind of a person they want to be. 

The sooner we can connect our young ones to their identities, the earlier we can connect them to their love and honoring of self."

Cathy Domoney | Parenting Expert | Author, "The Magic Is Inside You: Powerful & Positive Thinking For Confident Children"

Making Decisions Based on What’s Best for the Whole Family

When it comes to making family decisions, the key is to think about what’s best for everyone, not just one person. This might mean:

  • Choosing a vacation spot that has activities for all ages.
  • Opting for a car that suits the entire family’s needs rather than just speed and style.

Sometimes, it’s about compromise; other times, it’s about finding creative solutions that make everyone happy. It’s not always easy, but when everyone feels considered—it makes every decision an act of love and consideration.

"Rather than being self-centric and thinking as an individual (which is common before children), you think as a unit—as a group. Your family is you, if that makes sense?

And this then becomes a whole new way of being. Decisions about where to go for the day, what to see, or what to eat all come down to, “What’s best for us all?”

Sophie Slosarczyk | Parenting and Wellbeing Blogger, Mamas Find Your Voice

Making Sure Nobody’s Needs Are Being Neglected

In a family, it’s crucial that everyone feels their needs are being met. This includes emotional, physical, and even personal aspirations. A family where everyone looks out for each other creates a nurturing environment.

This could look like:

  • Checking in with your spouse if they’ve been stressed.
  • Ensuring the kids have time for both homework and play.
  • Making sure everyone gets some “me” time.

You know, because sometimes, even parents need a break. Showing that you care about each other’s needs strengthens the family bond and ensures no one feels left out or unattended.

"As good parents, we position our children at the center of our world. It’s not a conscious decision; it’s simply an organic process. But in doing so, we naturally tend to place ourselves and our own needs at the bottom of the pile. [...] And yet, over time, this family setup becomes unsustainable.

This situation can eventually lead to emotional and/or physical burnout for the parent/s, and when that happens, nobody wins. That’s why being truly family oriented looks like the children are being prioritized — but nobody’s needs are being neglected.

[...] Because if one or both parents’ needs go unmet, it will ultimately be reflected in how well the children’s needs are met."

Kate Tunstall | Personal Growth and Mindful Motherhood Advocate | Editor, Refined Prose

Keeping Up with Family Traditions

Family traditions! They’re the secret ingredient that can make holidays, birthdays, or even Sundays feel special and uniquely ‘us’.

Whether it’s baking cookies every Christmas Eve, having a family movie night each week, or spending a summer day hiking—as families grow and evolve, these traditions can anchor us to our shared past and create a sense of continuity.

And the best part? Traditions don’t have to be grand; they just need to be meaningful.

Taking Vacations Together

Traveling together isn’t just about taking cool photos or visiting new places. It’s about sharing experiences that bond us. Whether it’s camping in the nearest national park or exploring a new country, these moments away from the daily grind allow families to reconnect on a deeper level.

Here’s what this might look like:

  • Planning the trip together so everyone’s interests are considered.
  • Making sure each family member gets to pick an activity.

Think of it as a time to unplug and focus on each other. The laughter, the adventures, and even the little mishaps along the way can bring you closer to each other. These shared experiences are the stories you’ll reminisce about years down the line!

You’re Dedicated to Your Loved Ones’ Personal Growth

When you’re family-oriented, the personal growth of each family member often becomes one of your top priorities. It’s like being each other’s personal cheerleader.

This can mean:

  • Encouraging your partner to pursue a new hobby that they’ve been talking about.
  • Supporting your children in their educational pursuits, no matter how big or small.
  • Celebrating when milestones are achieved, and lifting each other up if setbacks occur.

I think nurturing each other’s aspirations shows profound respect and belief in each other’s potential. It’s about saying, “I believe in you,” and honestly, that can make all the difference.

"When family is a foundational aspect of your life, a dedication to the personal growth of each of their wants and needs is fundamental. Sometimes this looks like:

• A parent curbing their desire to yell at their toddler for a poor decision and instead use the moment to help their child learn from the situation.
• Maybe it’s a spouse supporting a job change that won’t be as financially lucrative, but it supports a need for learning new things or using their talents.
• It could even be divorced parents who sit together at their children’s sporting or academic events.

Every person wants to be known, loved, and supported. We want to be allowed to grow and change — to make decisions, both good and bad. And most of all, we want a safe place to go when that growth happens."

Sarah Roberts | Parenting and Motherhood Blogger, Snugglebug Life

Showing Your Children What Self-Love Looks Like

Teaching self-love is one of the most precious gifts you can give to your children and it’s so vital in today’s world. It’s about showing them, through your own actions, that taking care of oneself is as essential as taking care of others.

What this might look like:

  • Taking time for your own hobbies and interests.
  • Practicing self-care, like exercise or mindfulness.
  • Speaking positively about yourself and others.

When children see you taking care of yourself, they learn that it’s okay to prioritize their well-being too. You’re setting them up for a future where they value and respect themselves, and understand their own worth.

"In the past, parents may have felt like the perpetual sacrifice of self for the benefit of the family unit was the only way to go, but times have changed. Now, we need to show our children what self-love looks like.

We also need to show them that living a life of fulfillment, passion, connectedness, mental and physical wellness, and fun is not just possible but vitally important.

The only way to raise children who are doing this is to attend to our own needs and experiences. If we want to be family oriented, we must be dedicated to our own wellness, growth, and expanded consciousness so we can light the way for our children to do the same."

Cathy Domoney | Parenting Expert | Author, "The Magic Is Inside You: Powerful & Positive Thinking For Confident Children"

Excerpts From the Experts

“I think people might fear the notion of being family oriented because we fear we might lose sight of ourselves in the process. What about our wants and needs?

To be family oriented we must drive in the direction of our family goals, values, and well-being. To do so does not mean to lose sight of yourself. On the contrary, a strong sense of self from each member of the family is vital.

How to check if you are family oriented? Look at the decisions you are making in your life.

  • What is the goal?
  • How does that goal play into your family goals? Does it? If not, and you want to refocus to become family oriented you need to reevaluate your choices and goals.
  • Can you reframe them to fit into your family goals?
  • Do you need to revisit your family goals or revisit your own?

By nurturing oneself while staying in tune with the family, we can create stronger family units.

Arielle Martone, DPT, NCS, RYT | Physical Therapist and Yoga Teacher | Stay at Home Mama | Blogger, Find Your Way Mama

“…To be family-oriented means we are focused on our family’s needs. This may sound almost too simple to us, but it’s true. We can go to every birthday party, every soccer game, and more, but if we are not focusing on these two things, we may be missing the mark: Being in tune with the needs of every individual family member and being in tune with the needs of the family as a collective whole.”

Jessie Synan | CEO and Founder, Pray With Confidence

“Everyone’s definition of “family-oriented” will differ somewhat. For most, the term usually refers to:

  • Someone who puts a strong emphasis on their family life and relationships.
  • Those who make every effort to create a happy, supportive home environment for their loved ones at the expense of their desires.

A happy and supportive environment will not mean the same to everyone and will not be achieved the same way. If you are a family-oriented person or want to be, take into consideration the personality of each member of your family to create their definition of a happy and safe environment.”

Mariela Meakes | Business Owner and Blogger, Wife and Mother

“Everything we do in life is being observed. Although children may not verbalize that they are watching, rest assured they are. Your behaviors are a model to your children.

Being family oriented incorporates being a role model for my children and making good decisions every single day. It’s also about demonstrating good work ethics and morals.”

Jennifer Aube, M.S., CFP®, ChFC® | Vice President and Financial Advisor, Wironen Aube Wealth Management

“While anyone could say that they love their family, the better question is do they prioritize them? Being family-oriented isn’t just about being there through the hard times or coming up with the most thoughtful gift.

It’s about making space and time for your family even though you have other things going on.

What about going after your own goals? Every person should have and pursue their own goals. However, sometimes people who prioritize their ambitions — be they professional or otherwise — tend to put their family by the wayside. It’s not a lack of love; it’s a shift in attention that goes from being short-term to long-term.

Of course, you should go after what you want out of life, and if you’re family-oriented, you will balance your ambitions with being present with your family. You can always make space for your family as long as you remember that they’re your priority.”

Maryna Shkvorets | Mindful Parenting Advocate | Founder and President, Mars and Stars Baby

“Family-oriented people seem straightforward; they spend quality time with family members and enjoy family life—someone who has a goal to be balanced with all obligations and keep family matters as a priority.

What are the characteristics? A few traits stand out in my mind as characteristics of a family-oriented person:

  • Ability to schedule family time and listen to the family members during the occasion
  • Skill to encourage family members to participate in events
  • Talent to delegate household duties to avoid burnout and stress
  • Flair for developing open communication to establish trust among the tribe
  • Remembers to show appreciation and love

Why are these traits important?

  • Listening: Being present and allowing others to tell their story will give loved ones a sense of belonging. Make a dinnertime rule—no devices during dinner and ask everyone, “how was your day?“
  • Participation: Getting everyone to participate in an event will cause all to have a memorable experience. Plan a family event with everyone’s input.
  • Delegating: Giving chores and tasks will provide a sense of accomplishment and give a break to the household head. Create a chore chart.
  • Trust: Establish judgment-free communication. Share a situation when you were vulnerable. This helps set the stage for transparent discussions.
  • Show Love: Feeling love and appreciation is everyone’s desire. Hug, kiss, and say thank you every day!

There are more characteristics of a family-oriented person. Any effort to balance home and career will be rewarding.

Karen Zerbini | Content Creator and Owner, Supper Sanity

“Taking care of your family means taking care of yourself. […] I often try to remind and encourage moms that you cannot pour from an empty cup. If you want to be the best mother/wife/daughter/sister that you can be, then you need to care for yourself.

If you are not taking care of yourself, then not only are you not set up to successfully care for others, but you might become a source of worry or even overwhelm those you love the most. This does not mean you should never ask for help or lean on your family’s support.

Rather, I want to encourage you to refrain from neglecting your needs and be sure to recharge your batteries.

Felicia Graves | Practical Homemaking, Modest Living, and Biblical Encouragement Blogger

“Formerly, my definition of family-oriented was someone who put the needs of their family ahead of their own – Now, I see that is only part of it.

  • Being completely family-oriented is also about wanting the absolute best for your family.
  • It’s about wanting what’s best for your family, even putting yourself second or third in line.
  • It’s about wanting what’s best for your spouse or partner, and not just because of your wedding vows.
  • It’s about understanding that marriage and parenthood are not one-way streets but rather a partnership where both parties have to put in the effort if they want things to work out.

Being family-oriented means that you’re willing to sacrifice certain things in your life so that your family can thrive.

Theresa Bertuzzi | Chief Program Development Officer | Co-founder, Tiny Hoppers

“While you don’t have to be with your family ALL the time to be family oriented, you do have to make your decisions based on them. Decision-making is another important basic. We make decisions based on many things, but important ones; ones that affect your whole family, need to be made with family as the number one priority.”

Kelly Treibitz | Parent Coach | COO and Director of Parent Programs, Emerge Consulting Solutions

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I become more family-oriented if I’m really busy?

Being family-oriented doesn’t mean you have to spend every waking moment with your family. It’s about quality over quantity. Allocate specific times in your week, like a family dinner or a weekend outing, and stick to it. Small, consistent efforts can make a big difference.

What activities can families do together to feel more connected?

There are countless activities to create connections with your family. Simple activities like cooking meals together, playing board games, or gardening can be really fun and engaging. Even volunteering as a family can be a fulfilling experience that teaches empathy and cooperation.

Can a family become more family-oriented over time?

Absolutely! It starts with small, intentional changes. Communicate openly about the desire to spend more time together, make joint decisions, and involve everyone in family activities. Over time, these efforts will create stronger family bonds.

How can single parents foster a family-oriented environment?

Single parents can create a strong, family-oriented environment by involving children in decision-making, maintaining regular family routines, and ensuring open communication. Building a support network with friends and relatives can also provide additional family-like stability and connections.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, being family oriented is all about making those small, meaningful choices that show your family they matter most. It’s not about grand gestures; it’s the little things that count, like spending quality time together and supporting each other’s dreams.

I think everyone can find their own unique way to be more family oriented. It’s a journey, and there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. So whether you’re already living a family-focused life or looking to embrace it more, remember—every effort counts. You’re doing great!

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

As you found this post useful...

Share it on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Photo of author

Leah is a creative soul with a passion for telling stories that matter. As an editor and writer at UpJourney, she channels her natural curiosity and imagination into thought-provoking articles and inspiring content. She is also a registered nurse dedicated to helping others and making a positive impact.

In her free time, she indulges her artistic side as a hobbyist photographer, capturing the world's beauty one shot at a time. You can also find her in a poor-lit room playing her favorite video games or in a corner somewhere, reading and immersing herself in the rich worlds of fantasy and dark academia.

At home, Leah is surrounded by love and laughter, living peacefully with her partner and their three adorable shih tzus.