Content of the material
Do you have breakfast or dinner together every day as a family?
Whichever meal you’re able to sit down together at, (for us, its breakfast), create a habit of asking every person at the table what the high and low of their day was (dinner) or what the high and low of the day before way (breakfast) and what they’re excited about in the coming days.
What was the highlight and low point, peak and pit, mountain or valley… whichever way you choose to ask, when everyone around the table shares what the best part and the hardest part of their day was, you’ll find that family members have a better understanding, support, closeness and empathy for one another.
ONE FUN WAY TO CONNECT EVERY DAY:
This is an everyday journal that asks one questions for each day of the year (tracking over three years). Go around the table and record the responses for every family member. We do this in our house and it’s so fun to go around the table and hear everyone’s different responses, but I love to look through the responses and see the silly responses and see the evolution of their responses as time goes on.
The Q&A Three-Year Journal is fun while you’re doing it, but also a precious keepsake too.
On each family member’s big day, start a birthday tradition of either letting them choose their favorite dish or restaurant for dinner, breakfast or lunch, or activity or place to go for their birthday.
Is there something that person wants to do every year like go skiing, take in a movie, head out for a hike or to the pool to celebrate?
One of my favorite birthday traditions is for a parent to take the child out on a birthday date. My husband will take our daughter out for a birthday lunch and I will take my son out for his birthday, which also provides us a great opportunity to have one-on-one time with our children without being interrupted by siblings or a meltdown with our youngest.
My husband and daughter will get dressed up and head out to a location of her choosing. They both love getting dressed up and going out for father/daughter and mother/son time.
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Why Traditions Are Important
People create and maintain family traditions because they bring meaning to celebrations and foster special bonds. More importantly, traditions create positive experiences and memories for everyone by nurturing a family's connection and giving them a sense of belonging.
Family traditions also help children understand who they are and what is important to the family to which they belong. Traditions create a connection for children that comes from feeling like they are part of something unique and extraordinary. Family traditions can even contribute to a child's self-esteem and enhance their well-being. After all, children find comfort and security when things are predictable and consistent.
Benefits of Family Traditions
Make memories for families that last a lifetimeProvide children a sense of security by providing continuityGive family members a strong sense of belongingHelp pass on family values including cultural and religious heritageKeep generations connected and give them a family history to share
How to instill family values that align with your ownJump to section What are family values? Why family values are important How do family values affect society? Types of family values 8 family value examples How to instill…Read More
Examples of traditions and customs
To get a better idea of the kinds of family traditions, I went on a mission to find different experiences. Some traditions can seem simple on the outside, much like Laura Geschwender’s experience.
“I have many examples of traditions in my own family,” explains Laura, who lives in Omaha, Nebraska. “The most recent one is on Mother’s Day. My mom, dad, brother, sister and I all get together and get Bruegger’s Bagels’ Herby Turkey sandwiches for lunch and go on a picnic at Zorinsky Lake. We hang out there too, even though it was a little different this year.
“Another one that I can think of is for Christmas. My brother wakes both my sister and I up and then we wake our parents up and open stockings; then after breakfast we open presents!”
Lincoln, Nebraska, resident Tara Neaderhiser recalls that one of the Christmas Eve traditions she observes is eating hamburger pizza. This tradition began for her when her siblings worked at a Nebraska staple restaurant, Valentino’s.
After they had finished the pizza, Christmas Eve, Tara and her family would always attend Midnight Mass, where they would sing Christmas carols to ring in Christmas Day.
A few years later, Tara got the opportunity to work at Valentino’s herself. Tara still tries to eat hamburger pizza and go to Christmas Eve or Midnight Mass.
Traditions strengthen families by keeping them together and making awesome memories to talk about and look forward to and to look back on.
- Failed family traditions are ok – it’s ok if the tradition didn’t stick.
I’ve tried to create a few family traditions that just became too hard to keep up with. For example, I tried doing weekly spa nights/massage time with my daughters on Sunday nights. I got to three weeks of doing it before realizing that I never have extra time on Sunday night, so it stresses me out, and it’s just not doable. Were we better for having tried to create this family tradition? Yes. Even though it didn’t become a tradition, it was a moment in time where we spent genuine quality time together. My mistake here was that I tried to schedule it too often (every week) and on a day that is generally a busy day for us. I will likely do a spa night with my girls but instead of it being a weekly occurrence, we just call out “SPA NIGHT” when we have the time. It’s always fun!
- Be open to adapting to what works.
- Don’t let it become a source of stress. Choose simple traditions and if you miss it once or twice, it’s not a big deal.
- Make sure the traditions your family chooses are something that brings you and your family members happiness.
I recently read this book on family traditions and it really inspired me to create new traditions.
The Book Of New Family Traditions Quality family togetherness has become so elusive in today’s noise-filled world. With the addition of technology and gadgets in our lives, there are enough distractions around us to make it hard to be fully present and continue staying connected with members within our own households. Family expert Meg Cox offers a solution with her helpful suggestions of a hundred ways to incorporate fun family rituals back into family life. Get it on Amazon
Do you have any family traditions you did or currently do? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.