What Family-Oriented Means in a Modern World

Published March 1, 2021
What family oriented means

For many people, the best approach to life is a family approach. Being family-oriented is a positive trait that can enrich a person's life emotionally, professionally, and spiritually. The concept of family-oriented might feel old-fashioned for some progressive minds, but it very much continues to have an important place in the modern world.

What Does It Mean to Be Family-Oriented?

The meaning of family-oriented can differ depending on an individual's personal beliefs and values. What one person perceives as family-centric might not be the exact same as someone else's views. The general definition of family-oriented means that a person puts their family and loved ones at the core of their priorities. Family-oriented people tend to focus on family values, draw strength from their family, lean on family in decision-making processes, and put the needs of the family ahead of their own.

Being family-oriented is more than simply loving your family. It is a state-of-being. For these people, being family-oriented is a way of life and it's part of their personal family culture.

Characteristics of Family-Oriented People

People can be family-oriented and still be vastly different. This is because family means something different to just about everyone. Even with differences, family-oriented people tend to have these common traits and behaviors.

  • Selfless- Often think of others before they consider themselves
  • Loyal- Family-oriented people are typically loyal and this stems from a lifetime of devotion to the ones whom they love most
  • Value quality time with loved ones
  • Affectionate
  • Unafraid of commitment (thanks in part to the strong bond of the family unit)
  • Positive communicators (from all of those years learning to work things out with close family members)
  • Exhibit self-care
Cheeful family

Examples of Family-Oriented Activities

People exhibit their family-oriented values through their actions. These activities are all examples of how family-oriented people might choose to spend their free time.

  • Going home on weekends or holidays to spend time with the family
  • Have family dinners once or several times a week
  • Attend religious services with family members
  • Help family on home projects
  • Babysit younger family members or care for older ones
  • Take vacations with family
  • Attend family member's big moments in life (weddings, graduations, baby showers, promotions)

How to Become Family-Oriented

If you strive to become more family-oriented in your life, there are several ways to achieve this.

Be Present

This is sometimes harder to do than it seems. Be present when you are around your family. Turn the background noise off and set your phone down. Try to limit distractions so that you can focus on what is truly important: your loved ones.

Schedule Family Time

People are running around 24-7 and finding a few hours in the day to spend together is sometimes a challenge. Schedule time together just as you would schedule anything else. Avoid overlap here and stick to your family commitment. You don't have to plan anything special in this time slot, just plan to be together.

Young family spending time together

Make Your Love Visible

Show your love whenever you can. Exhibit physical signs of affection with high fives, hugs, shoulder squeezes, and snuggles. Leave notes of appreciation or encouragement for the people in your family to find. Use acts of love, like helping with tasks or chores to express how much you care.

Attend to Self-Care

You can't take care of someone else if you are not taking care of yourself first. Self-care is important and is a quality that family-oriented people often exhibit. If you spend time on yourself, then you'll recharge your battery and be able to in-turn give love and attention to your loved ones.

Engage in Active-Listening Skills

Active listening is an excellent communication skill that you can use in your family life, personal life, and professional life. When your family speaks to you, focus on nothing else but what they are saying. Remove physical distractions and try to not create a rebuttal while they are sharing with you. Make eye contact with the person speaking and check your body language. Is it rigid and standoffish, or is it relaxed and engaged?

Family Oriented Then vs. Now

Several decades ago, the idea of family-oriented was more black and white than it is today. Family-oriented women didn't work. They stayed home cooking and cleaning, and their primary purpose was to attend to the family's needs. A family-oriented man worked to provide for his dependants, guided his wife and children spiritually, and focused his free-time on the people in his home.

Things have shifted since then, and today's men and women have expanded the concept of being family-oriented. Women balance work and home every day, and being a professional in no way detracts from their ability to be family-oriented. Men have also left the constructs of what was socially perceived as family-oriented. Today's men work and/or provide childcare to their offspring. They don't seek to lead, but seek to be equals with their spouses.

Benefits to Being Family Oriented

There are tons of benefits to being a family-oriented person, and these benefits can carry into your love life and your professional life.


A family-oriented upbringing can create many benefits that individuals will carry with them into their own future relationships.

  • Seek partners who value family as well
  • Have good communication with partners
  • Good mental health (Assuming your family is not toxic)
  • Higher self-confidence and self-esteem


Being family-oriented is something that you may want to include in future resumes. Employers will be grateful for the skills that you learned growing up in a family-oriented environment.

  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Excellent communication strategies
  • Group-centered perspective over individual desires
  • Ability to adapt and take on life's challenges

Never too Late for Family

When it comes to being family-oriented, it's never too late to start. If your own family has become distant and disconnected, key into ways to become more family-oriented and work on moving towards a more family-centric mindset. If you weren't raised in a family-oriented environment, make it a priority to have kin at the center of your own family someday. When it comes to our loved ones, it's never too late to show them that they are loved and valued.

What Family-Oriented Means in a Modern World