It’s usually this time of year, around the holidays, that we hear people talk about family traditions.

Many families have a special thing they do to celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s. Then, the holiday season ends and it’s back to business as usual.

But what if we told you that traditions are a lot more powerful than that? And not just something you do on holidays?

Life today is ever-changing and faced paced. Which makes it even more important that we find ways to reconnect with each other, as human beings, on a daily basis.

Family traditions allow us to do just that!

 

Research shows that the secret to happiness is focusing our lives around experiences, rather than things.

 

A tradition is just the type of shared experience that helps us build stories and create special memories that impact us for a lifetime.

But many people don’t realize the importance of family traditions. Which we think is a shame.

Traditions have a profound impact on families. They are the happy childhood memories your kids carry with them into adulthood.

Why would you want to limit something so precious to just one season a year? You wouldn’t.

Family traditions can be a year-round bonding experience for you and your kids. We’ll show you how.

 

What Are Family Traditions?

Traditions are things you do, again and again. They are rituals done consistently as a family.

What separates traditions from habits is the intention behind them.

Traditions are done with a specific purpose in mind. Think of traditions as the “magic” that can bring meaning to your life and lift you out of the everyday.

Traditions offer many benefits to families.

 

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Top 5 Reasons To Start Your Own Family Traditions

 

1. Create A Family Story

Traditions can give insights into your family’s cultural or religious history. They can also shape your kids’ memories and become the tales they tell their own children some day.

2. Build Security

Life gets hectic and crazy sometimes. Family traditions provide a consistent, comforting home base in a chaotic world.

This is particularly true for little ones who don’t do as well with change as adults.

3. Teach Values

Whatever it is your family values; education, kindness, hard work, religion, empathy, etc. you can work these values into your daily or weekly family traditions to reinforce them.

4. Strengthen Family Connection

Researchers have found that families who participate in regular rituals have stronger bonds than those who don’t.

By doing something special as a family unit, something face-to-face, you build solid connections.

5. Pass On Your Culture

Many family traditions are passed down through generations. This is a great way to connect your kids to your family’s history!

Plus, research has shown that children who have a high level of involvement with grandparents have fewer behavioral problems.

So be sure get older relatives involved. Inter-generational traditions are a great thing.

 

Traditions can be done daily, weekly, annually, or they might be tied to a season or holiday.

Keep in mind, when it comes to family traditions – it’s not about quantity, it’s about quality.

Pick a few experiences that align with your family’s values, and do them consistently and with intention.

And remember, when choosing family traditions, don’t just consider the activities from an adult’s perspective. Think about the event from a child’s point of view as well.  

What may seem silly or basic to you can be magical to kids. Those so-called silly events might end up being your child’s best memories.

Looking for some inspiration to start your own family traditions?

We’ve got 12 tradition ideas to get you started. You can incorporate these directly into your family’s routine, or use them as a launching point to crate your own.

 

-Daily Traditions-

 
Family Meals:
 
The research is clear, eating a meal together as a family has numerous positive effects.
 
Make meal-time sacred. No cell phones, no distractions… just good food and conversation.
 
Related: Make Family Dinners Fun! 30 Conversation Starters For Kids

 

Secret Family Codes:
 
Secret societies have been using them for ages. Why not start an underground code that only your family knows?
 
It can be a phrase you say only to each other, like “morning love and glory in the house of Rory”, or it can be a secret handshake or signal.

Your family will feel special every time they engage in your secret little ritual, and it can be passed down to the next generation.

 

Daily Thanks:
 
One really great tradition that promotes empathy and gratitude is the practice of saying what you’re thankful for each day.
 
This can be over dinner, before going to bed, or whatever time fits into your family’s schedule.

It serves as a daily reminder that there’s good all around us, and helps your family stay positive no matter what life throws your way.

 

Bedtime Stories:
 
Reading with the kids each night is another great family tradition. It demonstrates how your family values education and literature.
 
Plus, it helps kids develop language and reading skills and sets them up for a good night’s sleep.
 
 
 Family traditions

 

-Weekly Traditions-

 
Themed Food Nights:
 
Theme nights are one of those faun family activities everyone can look forward to.
 
Do what works best for your schedule and your tastes!
 
Taco Tuesday, Pizza Friday, Pancake Sunday….doesn’t matter. Just do it consistently and it becomes a great weekly bonding session.
 
 
Family Game Night Or Movie Night:
 
Something else fun that the whole family can look forward to doing together.
 
Whether you choose games or movies, rotate who picks the title and be ready to laugh, cry, and just have an all around good time.
 
 
 
Weekly Family Meetings:
 
Your family is like your corporation. You need weekly shareholder meetings to keep everyone on the same page.
 
Get the whole fam together for a quick debrief. Ask what went well, what didn’t go well, and what you want to work on in the week ahead.

These weekly check-ins will keep the family unit humming along.

 

-Annual Traditions-

 
First Day Of School Photos:
 
Take your kids picture on the first day of school each year and create an album out of them. It will be something fun the kids can look forward to their first day.
 
Plus, when they’re all grown up, the album will serve as a reminder of changing looks, hairstyles, clothing, et. and the fact that you always made their first day special.
 
 
Yearly Time Capsules:
 
Once a year gather the troops and have everyone contribute something to be placed in a family time capsule.
 
You can open the capsules together with your kids when they graduate from college and replay all the happy memories.
 
 
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-Holiday Traditions-

 
Pumpkin Patch and Carving:
 
Make picking out your own pumpkin and carving it together as a family an annual Halloween event.
 
Give Thanks Box:
 
Each Thanksgiving have family members write what they are thankful for on slips of paper and place them in a box.
 
During the family meal, you can pull them out one at a time and read them together.
 
 
 
Annual Holiday Ornament:
 
Get together as a team and create an annual holiday ornament to hang on the tree.
 
Be sure you include the year in your design, so every Christmas your tree becomes a reminder of all the family holidays you’ve spent together.

 

Family traditions are in essence the language of a family. As life gets busy, family traditions are what keep us grounded and connected.

Start some traditions of your own and you’ll see how they create beautiful memories that can be shared over a lifetime.

 

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