Traditions are recurring things that a family does: a set or behaviours and routines that have special meanings within a household.
They may seem quaint or even silly, but they have a real usefulness.
Even if you don’t realise it, your family will already have some traditions. They will have been handed down from parents and grandparents, or perhaps from relations and friends. Some you will have just invented yourselves.
Traditions can be big things like an annual family camping trip, or they can be small like a silly action or activity that is triggered in some way. Traditions can also include ‘rites of passage’ as your children go through their various stages in life.
Traditions Are Useful
Traditions matter. They help to strengthen your family’s bonds, enrich the life you share together, contribute to your children’s wellbeing and create everlasting memories. Traditions are also a very effective way to pass on and strengthen your own family values – like the importance of birthdays or the recognition of achievements or milestones. Best of all, children love family traditions and rituals; they feed a child’s need for routine, a sense of belonging and security and their quest for fun.
Be it a ritual around birthdays, mealtimes, bath times, bedtimes, Friday nights or car journeys, your children will love and benefit from traditions. They will especially love traditions that no one but your family understands – secret handshakes or special kisses, code words for things, or your own rules for games!
Storytelling - family hugs – sloppy kisses – takeaway night – Sunday roast – family meetings – yearly photos – measurements on the door frame. All will help build those special family ties.
Put in the effort to keep your family traditions alive, and to create new ones. Keep alert to the possibilities, and snatch them when they arise (many family traditions will begin inadvertently). If you have the choice:
- Keep it simple - so you can do it easily and readily
- Keep it inexpensive – so there’s no financial anxiety
- Do it regularly – so it becomes an established pattern
- Make it fun!
Remember, the traditions you create will be your legacy to your children, and to their children.