Creating a Family Identity

August 7, 2012

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 Build for your team a feeling of oneness, of dependence on one another and of strength to be derived by unity.”   Vince Lombardi

Team Phenix painting

A friend of mine recently asked me why I usually refer to my family as “Team Phenix.”  She was, of course, familiar with our last name, but she wondered why the “Team” moniker was so frequently applied.

I think the friend wanted a simple answer, so I said “Oh, we thought it would be fun to have a nickname for our family.”

The complete answer is more strategic and purposeful than merely having a cute moniker.

After our first child was born, Billy and I decided that we wanted to build a vocabulary around our own unique family identity.  We wanted our little tribe of people to be set apart and distinctive from others, NOT as a competitive move or to position ourselves as better than others, but to inspire us to be better TOGETHER.

As we contemplated how to “self identify,” we avoided comics (The Avengers anyone?), couldn’t agree on mascots (Go Bruins!), and dismissed animal groupings (a gaggle of Pheni?).  These decisions were probably for the best!  However, the idea of a “team” seemed to fit no matter what.

In hindsight, the benefits of creating a name were more varied than we contemplated.  Think about it this way:

  • Being a team creates a sense of belonging that is tangible  – AND I think we could make our own family logo, but maybe that’s because I’ve been on pinterest too much!
  • Team members share a common, united purpose  – Love God, Love others, Keep Mom happy: )
  • Everyone lives by Team standards -  Do your best, Work hard, Have fun, No bad music.
  • Teams stick together – We avoid the “divide and conquer” temptation by calling on a team approach.
  • Celebrations are group affairs – When one of us wins, we celebrate as a group.  This make for lot of fro-yo trips!

The value in creating a family identity isn’t merely to have fun, though that’s a big benefit.   Ultimately, when the “team” is strong and unified inside the home, then when we move out of the home as individuals and into the world, we will do so in strength.   When you’re part of a strong team, that identity reinforces your belonging and acceptance and thus your intrinsic worth.

Of course, if you had a LOGO to go along with your name, that would REALLY be something!

 

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