National Family Civility Day, which takes place on November 15 each year, calls for the celebration of all types of families who are civil to and support each other. Introduced by Dr. Rebecca Harper of the Family Civility Institute in 2019, National Family Civility Day also takes note of the contributions of public and private organizations in assisting families. The holiday recognizes nuclear families, blended families, families with disabilities, childless families, and chosen families such as friends or significant others. Regardless of the differences, a family gives us a sense of identity and makes our lives meaningful.
History of National Family Civility Day
Familial love is the first kind of love. Parents, siblings, and extended family members show unconditional love for their relatives. Nuclear families emerged as the most common form of family structure between 1950 and 1970. Biological parents lived and raised their children together. Sometimes nuclear families include adopted children.
This is not to say that nuclear families were the only kind of family. The U.S. also had an extended family structure, including grandparents, uncles and aunts, nephews, nieces, in-laws, and cousins. Though this was an older model that started to fizzle out in the early 1900s, many communities retained this family structure, especially those who migrated from countries with a strong sense of familial unity and closeness.
The postmodern family emerged in the mid-20th century, comprising single-parent families, same-sex families, and blended families. Single-parent families were initially a result of divorce or death, but more people have chosen to become single parents in recent years. Blended families – families with a stepparent or stepsibling – cropped up more in the 1990s. Same-sex families became more commonplace following increased social acceptance of the L.G.B.T.Q. community and the legalization of same-sex marriage in the U.S. in 2015. Though modern family structures, cultures, and backgrounds vary, the concept of family civility — where a nation shows equity, support, and civility to all families — is universal.
National Family Civility Day timeline
The animated series “Family Guy” introduces a quirky, dysfunctional family striving to cope with everyday life in a satirical take on traditional American family sitcoms.
The sitcom “Modern Family,” which airs on ABC, depicts a multiracial family with same-sex couples, stepparents, and adopted children.
Gay marriage is legalized nationwide with the Obergefell v. Hodges decision.
Dr. Rebecca Harper establishes National Family Civility Day.
National Family Civility Day FAQs
What is family civility?
Family civility is the support and respect of all families regardless of race, gender, orientation, and economic status.
Who started National Family Civility Day?
The Family Civility Institute created National Family Civility Day.
What is the Family Civility Institute?
The Family Civility Institute is a non-profit organization that empowers families to achieve sustainable development goals in their homes and communities.
National Family Civility Day Activities
Plan a family get-together
Spend quality time with your family. You can plan a family dinner, invite them over for a game or movie night, or visit the beach and have a picnic.
Check in on them
If you can’t spend time with your family, give them a call. Thanks to all the video-conferencing services available, you can talk to multiple people simultaneously. Find out how everyone is doing and when you can all meet up.
Support a family
Sign up as a sponsor on the Family Civility Institute website. You’ll help support families through grocery gift cards, essential dental services, fundraising for causes, and donating clothing items.
5 Informative Facts About Modern Families
The family structure has changed
The traditional mom-and-dad setup is no longer the majority; as of 2014, more families are single-families, stepfamilies, and families living together outside of marriage.
Love keeps winning
After the legalization of interracial marriages in America, the tempo of interracial marriages taking place has been increasing, rising from 7% in 1980 to 15% by 2010.
Around three million lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender adults have had a child at some point.
Less pressure on milestones
In 1960, 65% of American adults aged 18 to 32 were married but in 2013, the number sank to 26%.
What does ‘family’ mean?
‘Family’ comes from the Latin word ‘famulus,’ which means ‘a servant.’
Why We Love National Family Civility Day
Families support each other
Family is our first and last line of support. We turn to them in times of hardship, they act as our anchor to this world, and positively influence our health and wellbeing.
There’s more than one kind of family
National Family Civility Day acknowledges and celebrates that there’s more than one kind of family. Family can be blood or the ones that you choose; they can be childless, widowed, divorced, or blended.
Diversity in civility
We’ve come to expect some level of disrespect and intolerance from others. National Family Civility Day reminds us to strive for inclusivity, acceptance, and respect for each other. Each family differs in culture, traditions, size, and structure, but we must remember that its love is irreplaceable.
National Family Civility Day dates