Why Multi-Generational Family Matters

Why Multi-Generational Family Matters

by Bill High

I speak often on the multi-generational view of family. But why is this concept so important?

For many it’s a new concept, but I have yet to have anyone disagree with me. I’ve yet to meet a parent that subscribes to a “one and done” philosophy—meaning that they hope to have kids who will immediately walk away from the family unit, form a contrary set of values, and never return.

Intuitively, we all know that we were made for community and that our desire is for ongoing community.

But the reality is fewer and fewer U.S. families have a sense of connection to the generations of their families.

In a poll conducted for Ancestry.com, 84% of those surveyed said that knowing one’s heritage is important. Yet only 34% of those same people could name a relative beyond their grandparents, and 21% couldn’t name even one grandparent.

Why does multi-generational community and family matter?


What Are Connected Generations Good For?

Think about it. What happens when multi-generational family takes place?

First, children are benefited when they understand they are part of a broader story, a broader family narrative.

Lois Collins, writing for The Deseret News, notes an Emory University study: “Adolescents who know their family histories and feel a sense of connection to previous generations of family show greater emotional well-being and a more developed sense of personal identity than those who don’t.”

The Emory Study further stated: “Family stories provide a sense of identity through time, and help children understand who they are in the world.”

But the benefit goes beyond just the family.

Yes, when families stick together from generation to generation, they form tight relational bonds. But equally important, these connected generations impact the communities in which they live.

That’s the way it used to be. We could count on families down the road, who farmed, who were the ones at church, who were the ones you could count on at harvest or when a loved one died. When they had children, they only multiplied the good in the world.

The multi-generational family is the most basic way to impact the world for good on an ongoing basis.

How many multi-generational families do you know?



Photo by iStockphoto.com

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Published January 3, 2022

Topics: Family Legacy

FamilyFamily LegacyFamily StoriesGenerationsMulti-Generational

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