The best way for children to remember their youth is to establish family traditions.
In this post, I will share 6 things you need to create family traditions.
BONUS: CLICK HERE AND GET A FREE WORKSHEET TO HELP YOU PLAN AND SCHEDULE YOUR TRADITIONS
The best part of my day is when all 3 of my kids are snuggled up in bed with me.
I absolutely love being close to them all. This time is nice because the kids are usually talkative and I get to ask them questions about their day and also have some silly time with them.
I love any time I get with my family. Even though the days can be long and I sometimes want personal space, I treasure the time I have with my kids and am pretty selfish about it.
Like all parents, our lives are busy and we always have something on the go so its not always possible to have quality time with my kids.
To help me have dedicated time with my kids on a regular basis, I have created daily, weekly, monthly and yearly family traditions.
Why family traditions
Family traditions are things you do over and over again that bring special meaning to your family.
These traditions are ways for families to spend time together, create memories and have fun.
Doing these things together builds a family bond that will help withstand the trials of life. Building family unity also brings a sense of belonging and safety. These feelings are extremely important for kids to have and helps them develop.
How to establish traditions
You might be sitting there and thinking: we have no family traditions. But I think if you stopped to think about what you do every day you might realize that you already have things in place.
Ask yourself: is there something we do on a regular basis
You might be surprised to find out that you sing the same song every time you eat dinner together, or you sit down every year with your family and have a large meal.
If you are newly married or don’t have kids yet you might not have traditions in place.
To establish traditions: pick something you enjoy doing and do it again. This thing can be done every day, every week or once a year.
- The Best Christmas Traditions
- A New Family Tradition
6 things you need to create family traditions
1. Get your kids involved
When your kids are young, they won’t know that they are involved in a family tradition. They won’t have an opinion.
As children get older, they start to love consistency and also have their favourite song or story.
When forming traditions make sure that your kids have a say. By getting your kids involved they will feel more connected and feel part of the family.
One of the traditions we have that we do every day is read stories. We have set the time for storytime and that stays the same every day. For us, before bed works really well.
When I put the kids to bed, I will let the kids decide what story they want us to read. Sometimes it’s the same story every night for a week. Other times, it’s a different story every day.
2. Make sure you love it
If you want to set a family tradition make sure you pick something you love.
When I was sleep training my babies, the first advice people give is set a bedtime routine. This routine is something you will be doing every night for YEARS. If you pick a routine that is 30 min long and you hate every minute of it you are setting yourself up for failure or continued resentment.
If you hate the activities you are doing then your kids will catch on and things will start feeling like chores instead of family fun.
So, when you pick something to do over and over again make sure you love it.
3. Be flexible
One of the things I enjoy about parenting is the opportunity to be flexible. Choosing to be flexible teaches our kids that even though we love our traditions, they don’t rule our day or our schedule.
Just because a tradition is set does not mean it has to be done the same way every single time. You can be flexible.
We love to read with the kids before bed. Early on, we decided that we would read 3 books to the kids and then send them to bed.
Our children love to read so this is not a struggle. Even though we do this most nights we sometimes don’t.
Some nights my children are playing so well together that I don’t want to interrupt. I let them play together latter and then we send them off to bed without a story. If they ask for a story or complain, I can explain that I let them stay up to play and we can read together tomorrow.
Other nights they ask me to read them 4 or 5 books and I happily indulge them.
This flexibility encourages me to be aware of our family dynamics and focus on my family as opposed to the specific tradition.
4. Traditions can change
The most important thing to remember when making traditions is that they can be changed.
When my husband and I first got married, we wanted to make traditions that would last a lifetime. On our first New Year’s Day together we decided that we would go to a specific restaurant and that would be the place we would go every year.
So off we went. We enjoyed our dinner but came home and starting feeling sick and uncomfortable.
At that point, we looked at each other and decided that maybe that specific restaurant was not a place we wanted to go to celebrate a new year.
We loved the tradition but changed where we would eat.
If you try something and hate it then change it. If you have been doing the same thing for 20 years and want to try something new, then do.
5. You can add a tradition anytime
The best part of forming traditions is that they can be set anytime. When forming traditions it’s hard to know ahead of time what your family will enjoy or what will truly resonate with your family.
As parents, my husband and I looked at our lives and found that we were missing opportunities to teach our children about giving. So, we set about setting a family tradition that would help us
Sometimes things come up. When they do, you can add a tradition. Or, maybe your kids grow out of a certain tradition. Maybe they are too old to sit in your lap so you decide to let that one go.
Instead of giving up opportunities to connect, replace that time with something else.
Traditions you can try
- Bedtime routines: read and sing before bed
- Daily prayer time
- Cook together
- Dance party
- Hug and kiss
- Special sayings
- daily family meal
- special meal: Waffle Wednesday
- Family date night
- Bath time
- Grocery shopping
- Trip to the library
- parent/ child date
- Special Family outing
- Dinner out
- special trip
- Christmas traditions
- Halloween traditions
- Easter traditions
- Valentine traditions
To help you think through some of these things, I have created some free worksheets that may help you. Fill in the form below and get your free worksheets.
In the comments below, share with me some of your family traditions. Please share this post with friends and family.