Creating and honouring family traditions
As parents it is your responsibility to provide a sense of belonging to your children. And one of the best ways to do so is in honouring and even creating new family traditions. The following ideas will help you get started in adding to your family’s sense of belonging and uniqueness.
Children find comfort and safety in knowing who they belong to and where they come from. Think about it…children love to look at pictures; asking, ‘who is that?’ and ‘is that YOU when you were my age?’ Their need to belong is also obvious in the fact that they become all eyes and ears when an older family member tells stories of their youth or hauls an old trunk out of the attic containing mementos of days gone by.
1. Embrace your ethnicity. Use the internet or library to discover old-world or forgotten traditions you find interesting and worth re-birthing.
2. Celebrate New Year’s Day by sprucing up your house and yard, cleaning out closets (donating outgrown and barely-used items to charity).
3. Celebrate New Year’s Day by inviting new friends for a meal and board games.
4. Make Valentines for the residents in a nursing home, then spend time visiting with them as you pass them out.
5. Easter egg hunts aren’t just for kids! Try a kids vs. adults hunt, grand prize eggs, eggs with names on them-you can only find your own, or if you have a very large extended family gathering, consider having family competitions.
6. In today’s society, there are countless single-parent families whose children will be with the non-custodial parent, people such as college students or young families who can’t travel to be with their own family, or even people who don’t have any family. Why not make it your family tradition to share your family (and your home) with people who need a happy place to be during a holiday celebration such as Easter or Christmas.
7. Birthdays are great for celebrating family traditions. Why not consider creating a three-ring binder for each family member. Each year, ask other family members to write special notes to the birthday boy/girl and put them in the notebook.
8. Allow each family member to create their own birthday flag. Fly it high and proud on each person’s birthday and make the day completely about them.
9. Put an entirely different spin on your wedding anniversary-the day that is typically reserved for couples-by celebrating the day with your children. Celebrate it as the day your family began. A family night out, an evening at home playing games, decorating anniversary cookies, or doing (the number of years) crazy things, are some possible ways to celebrate.
10. Celebrate Christmas, a holiday full of traditions, by personalizing one or two of them. Be creative, but choose something that will be meaningful for years and generations to come.
NOTE: If you are still not inspired to do something, watch “Fiddler on the Roof”. Tevye’s rendition of “Tradition!” will get your creative juices flowing.