What does it mean to be from a good family

Family at the dinner table

What does it mean to be from a “Good Family”?

It may seem a bit old fashion, but it says a lot about a person or family. I use the term quite often when it’s appropriate. I started thinking about what the term meant and if it meant the same thing to everyone that uses it. It is a bit old school in a way but conveys a type of person or family who takes the time to include good choices in daily life. It was used more often in the past and was used to indicate that this family was different. To me, it means a person or family that held to different standards. It may sound a bit snooty, but it’s not meant to. It implied this group knows the difference between right and wrong. They come from a home where people have invested in his or her ability to make good choices. It is an admirable home where principles and morals are encouraged and poor behavior, many times, comes with consequences. Spirituality may be incorporated into daily routines. The expression suggests a person or family that makes an effort to be better than the norm.

It is a great expression and a compliment to anyone who receives it.

The opposite of a “Good Family” would be one that may lack direction and ambitions running on autopilot and rarely pay attention to what is happening with the household. One that does not set family goals or objectives or follows through with discipline for poor choices. It’s a family who doesn’t care a lot about behavior, good or bad, or how current choices affect the future of this family. Some may view these parents as passive and their children as feral.

There are upsides and downsides to both. Being from a good family means there are expectations for choices, decisions, and behaviors and deviating from what is considered acceptable comes with dirty looks and harsh consequences. Expectations have been crushed as a result of the faux pau. Because these individuals are held to a higher standard, measuring up is very important.

A passive family environment doesn’t come with a lot of positive expectations, so there are more opportunities to impress. Anytime expectations are exceeded its a reason to celebrate. There is hope! We generously reward these situations because their actions come with a pleasant surprise.

Being from a good family is a gift. It’s parents teaching their offspring how to manage the expectations of society while demonstrating what is appropriate. A family is taking the time to invest in spiritual, moral and ethical skills in the hopes that one day, these individuals will go into society and make a positive difference. For parents, it’s getting their children a little closer to a successful and happy life.

Colleen Harding is a certified etiquette and protocol instructor and the founder of the Cleveland School of Etiquette and Corporate Protocol. Programs and packages available for children and businesses.