Traditions & rituals are practices or beliefs which are passed down from generation to generation. There are a couple of types of traditions. Religious traditions, Holiday traditions, Cultural traditions, and Family Traditions.
For this podcast I want to focus on family traditions. We will cover why family traditions are important and go over some family tradition examples you can implement.
For me, some of my favorite memories as a kid were around family traditions. Having dinner nearly every night together, my mom and I going through the drive-through of a fast-food restaurant every week, or my sisters and I traveling for this big swim meet every year and we got to stay in a hotel.
Now as a parent I look back at those family traditions I had and I want to create some with my own kids. Here are 9 reasons why family traditions are important to me.
1) They create positive memories – and the memories last a lifetime. Some of mine go back 35-40 years to when I was a young child.
2) Family traditions provide consistency or continuity – Children thrive on routine. We see that from when they are a baby, into toddlers, and beyond. Consistency is a positive thing for kids.
3) It promotes bonding – Whether you are spending time doing a family tradition or the family tradition involved beliefs, it offers that cohesiveness that promotes bonding.
4) Family traditions help create a sense of identity – This is our family thing, this is what we do. That sense of identity can be very valuable to children as they get older. The lack of identity can sometimes lead them down an unwanted path.
5) Shows commitment – It’s not easy to commit to something on a regular basis. Commitment is an important trait.
6) It Increases family values – Family traditions reinforce the importance of family. Sure there are other factors but I think my family’s traditions growing up did contribute to me realizing how important family was.
7) Offers belonging – Like the sense of identity, feeling like you belong to something is really crucial to nearly all humans. If it’s not in a positive way, we will seek it out in a negative way.
8) Family traditions are something to look forward to – Through research, it has been found that one of the keys to happiness is having something to look forward to. Family traditions can help with that.
9) Most of the time they are fun and enjoyable – They typically have an overall positive impact on your mood.
So now you understand why family traditions are so important. They can have a huge impact on our lives. There are tons of examples of family traditions, but if you are looking for some inspiration, here are some family tradition ideas:
1) Secret Handshake – Maybe when you are holding your child’s hand, you squeeze it 3 times to say “I love you”. My wife and I do this along with our kids.
2) Bedtime Stories – Whether you read out of a book or make them up, bedtime stories never get old. Well, your teen might think differently.
3) Family Game night – Bust out those old fashioned board games or cards and play some games to create a family tradition.
4) Movie night – Make some popcorn and rotate who gets to choose the movie. You can be really adventurous and even set up a movie screen outside.
5) Saturday/Sunday morning breakfast – make a special meal or go out on the weekends where you get to take your time and enjoy each other’s company.
6) Have a Weekly family meeting – We talk about this in our video about family rules, but a weekly family meeting can be a great tradition for everyone to know what is going on.
7) Family Service Day – Volunteer as a family. This could be for your local community, religious organization, or even just your neighborhood. Teaching the kids about volunteering is an extra bonus.
8) Family Vacations – Whether you go to the same place every year or switch it up, either way, those family vacations will be memorable and you will get to experience some pretty cool things.
9) Daddy Date – Have a regular one on one date with your child. You can let them pick it or plan it yourself. Either way, it’s a great family tradition your child will love.
Family traditions are just so important. They don’t have to be expensive or time-consuming, they just need to happen.
Also, if they have questions, comments, or feedback, what should they do?