fbpx Skip to Content

“Family-oriented” – Here’s What It Really Means

“Family-oriented” – Here’s What It Really Means

Sharing is caring!

Context is important. If you’re a well-adjusted person, then you know how to behave in different settings.

While it may be appropriate to swear and speak loudly at a dive bar, that same behavior will get you thrown out of a movie theater pretty quickly.

Different locations, settings, and circumstances have their own sets of rules and expectations of conduct.

A funeral home is a solemn and serious place, but you’ll probably get called a “party pooper” when you act that serious at a house party.

Many public places want to welcome as many people as possible, so if it’s common for families with children to spend time somewhere, then it’s probably considered a “family-friendly” or “family-oriented” place.


What is the meaning of “family-oriented”?

If something is family-oriented, then that means that it’s safe and common for families and children to spend time at that place, watch that show, or use that service. The phrase can be used to describe locations, media, ways of speaking, and more. If it would be inappropriate to expose a young child to something, then it’s probably not a very family-oriented thing.


How and when to use the phrase “family-oriented”

This phrase has no specific register.

Since there are few synonyms, you can use this term in formal and informal settings to refer to any situation where a family with young children would be welcome and comfortable.

You won’t be seen as pretentious when using this term with your friends. At the same time, your boss won’t find this description crass or inappropriate.

People may use this phrase to highlight that certain behavior is unacceptable.

In the following example, Alyssa and Kohei are at a local pizza restaurant, and they’re talking about the most recent episode of a violent TV show.

Alyssa: Wow! Can you believe that Tony murdered Al? I didn’t expect that until the next season!

Kohei: I know! There was so much blood. I can’t believe that they are allowed to show such gratuitous violence on TV!

Waitress: Hey! Please stop talking about that. This is a family-oriented restaurant, and there are kids here. If you want to discuss such adult things, then you may want to take the conversation elsewhere.

Alyssa: Oops! Sorry. We will stop talking about it.

While Kohei and Alyssa were excited to talk about the most recent episode of their favorite series, the topic of conversation was too violent to be spoken about in a pizza restaurant.

There were kids around, and the business wanted to maintain a family-oriented atmosphere, so the waitress had to remind the two friends that their conversation was inappropriate in that setting.

If the waitress would have continued to let them speak that way, then it could have negatively affected the business’s image in the local community.

In the following example, a political candidate is using the term to endear herself to the electorate.

Interviewer: Why do you support mandatory parental leave as a part of your political platform?

Candidate: Thank you for asking. As a family-oriented candidate, I believe that it’s important to allow parents to take care of their newborns for several months after the child is born. With mandatory parental leave, we can strengthen families in this state.

While this candidate is describing paid maternity or paternity leave as a family-oriented position, many political candidates also try to use this phrase to add value to their political stances and decisions, and many of these positions may be contradictory.

While a political candidate could market their support for traditional gender norms as a family-oriented stance, someone on the opposite side of the spectrum may describe their own support for LGBT adoption as a family-oriented political attitude.

Politicians and businesses use language intentionally to bolster their message.

Like many other terms, politicians will describe their beliefs as “family-oriented” to make their ideas more marketable to the general public.

Whether you believe such an assessment or not is dependent on your personal values.


Alternatives (synonyms) for “family-oriented”

“Family-friendly” is another term that basically means the same thing. Wholesome, PG, and age-appropriate can also describe places, media, situations, or other things that are safe and suitable for families and young children.

If you’re going to care for or spend time around young children, then you should make sure to use appropriate language, speak softly, and be mindful of their needs and sensitivities.