Traditions are an important part of family life. Traditions create intimacy and bonding within a family. They create a rhythm as well as help children look forward to certain events, creating a stronger sense of family and the fun that can bring. One of our traditions is a pizza and movie on Friday nights. Some Fridays it doesn’t work out, but for the most part, it is an evening we always look forward to together. My husband and I sit with the kids, put our devices away and engage with them as we watch the movie together. Pizza is my favorite food, so bringing that element in is always going to bring mama joy. The closeness that binds during those times will create for your memories and is part of what helps create the buy in to who you are as a family. An important basic family tradition is eating together. “Research shows that the more often families eat together, the less likely kids are to smoke, drink, do drugs, get depressed, develop eating disorders and consider suicide, and the more likely they are to do well in school, delay having sex, eat their vegetables, learn extensive vocabulary, and decipher between which fork to use. Furthermore, kids who eat most often with their parents are 40% more likely to say they get mainly A’s and B’s in school than kids who have two or fewer family dinners a week.” (June 12th , 2006 issue of Time Magazine acquired thru Time.com). Other traditions you can create within your family are:
* going on walks every Sunday after church
* heading to the library every Saturday morning
* Special breakfast every Saturday morning (something we did with my family)
* Cooking together every Wednesday night
* Friday “Fruit Loop” Day – a tradition I’ve started in our family where they get kid cereal every Friday (yes, I do know it’s unhealthy, but it happens in moderation around here)
* Going to the park on certain days
* Board Games on Sunday evening
* Writing a letter to someone (we need to start writing our sponsored child) once a month
* “Force Family Fun” days with something unique and special – We jokingly called it that with my family growing up.
* Weekly family meetings
* Formal dinner night where manners are practiced
* Birthday Traditions – I know a family who had to reach randomly in a bag full of utensils to see what they had to eat their cake with. If you laughed using that utensil, you had to eat with your hands. I know that others let the birthday person choose all the meals for the day. Some people have a birthday hat that the birthday person has to wear at dinner.
* Kid Date Night with Dad once a month
* New Years Fondue
* All of the great traditions around the holidays
* Lazy Saturday morning in bed – cuddles and books
There are so many great ideas out there, and I’ve listed a few to get you started. However, I’d love to hear about some of your favorite traditions in your family.