Strengthening Families – Family Traditions
When I think about my childhood, my memories are flooded with thoughts of family traditions. The special birthday banner hung for every birthday, opening one gift on Christmas Eve, and having family nights every Monday. Family traditions brought our family closer together, built memories, and provided our families with predictability. They gave our family an opportunity to build a sense of identity and an opportunity to teach and learn values.
As families, it is vital to take the time to fill our lives with traditions. If you want a good place to start, evaluate what your family does together and be sure you have a tradition or two in each of the follow categories. The traditions are defined by the benefits they provide our families.
Connection are those family traditions (or rituals) that connect us to one another. For example, bedtime rituals with our children or spouse, coming and going rituals, and family meals. These are all traditions that give us opportunities to get closer to our family members. They give us opportunities to communicate, explore our roles, and share experiences together. They give us a chance to connect with one another on a regular basis.
Love traditions give us an opportunity to show love to individual family members. Traditions like Valentines Day, Mothers Day and Fathers Day, anniversaries, and birthdays. There are also love rituals that we can create—special things we do in our family to show individual members how much we care. For example, my husband and I take our children on special mommy/daughter, mommy/son, father/daughter, father/son dates. We have them planned on the calendar and they give us opportunities to show our children individual love and attention. We also have a love tradition each day that is very meaningful for our family. Every day I spend 15 minutes with each of our children individually. Our kids really look forward to this time together, and so do I.
It is really easy to take from the community around us. We utilize everything from libraries, public parks, and playgrounds, to little leagues and public schools. But healthy families don't just take from the community, they give back also. And it is really important to teach our children the importance of being connected to the community around them. Community traditions range from service projects, to weddings, funerals, block parties, and barbecues. These events open our family's eyes to the people around us. They allow us to support others in their successes and struggles and help our children see the needs of others.
We want our families to be well rounded and filled with traditions that add meaning and significance to our everyday lives. By taking a few minutes to evaluate the different traditions you already celebrate, you will then be able to see if there are any gaps and start filling those in with new traditions for your family.
Want more help establishing new rituals for your family? Download the Developing Family Traditions printable here.
To access all of the Super Hero Family eBooks, including the Family Traditions eBook, click here.
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What is one of your family's favorite traditions?
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