The importance of constructing family identity

The family is a team. Its members spend lots of time together. Its member work out together. The team plays together, loses together, and wins together. When a new team member (or members!) enter, team identity can suffer, or even fall apart, especially when that new team member (or members) is added suddenly, as with foster care, adoption, or the blending families. Rebuilding the team identity (or perhaps even constructing a new one) can be difficult. Fortunately, there are some fun ways to do it:

Art Projects—

Constructing a family crest: Make a shield ( showing what is important to the family. Maybe suggest one “family” symbol and let kids draw in the other quadrants to show how they are unique, but also part of the family as a whole.

Pass the pen: Using a large sheet of butcher paper, take turns letting each person draw in order to create a large family “mural” that incorporates artwork from each person. (This could also be done on a space of sidewalk with sidewalk chalk.)

Family Activities—

Cooking: Each person gets an ingredient in the recipe and gets to add it when instructed.

Letter scavenger hunt: Hide letters around the house, or in the yard. Once found, ask kids to work together to arrange the word or message (For example, “FAMILY,” or “I LOVE YOU”).

Ideas adapted from:

Learning from Others—

Go to a sporting event (or watch one on TV): Use this as a shared enjoyable experience, and also as grounds for discussion about what makes a team work.

Watch videos: Pick your favorite full-length film or consider shorts such as the ones below:

A Pep Talk from Kid President to You (

Rowing and teamwork (

[As with all media, please view these clips before showing them to your children to determine if they are appropriate.]

Need more help constructing (or re-constructing) your family’s team identity? Talk to your family’s counselor. If you do not yet have a counselor, please feel free to contact Christian Family Care to ask if there are openings available.

– Sarah Earles, MS, LAC, Child and Family Therapist