How To Start (and Continue) Family Traditions

By January 17, 2010Featured Posts

jumping-family Traditions make a big impact on a small child. Their world is full of the new and the unknown, but having consistent family traditions can make them feel secure, confident and loved.

The key here is consistentcy. The schedule of the average American family is insane. Soccer practice, piano lessons, football games, dance recitals, church, school and work all compete for our time. We must be intentional about family time. Put it on the calendar and plan everything else around it. Some good traditions are:

1. Weekly or monthly date night – make sure that each of your children gets special attention from mom or dad on a consistent basis. It doesn’t have to be expensive. A trip to the park, a scoop of ice cream or simply a walk around the block can be very memorable.

2. Weekly or monthly Family night – Play games, make dinner together, watch a movie, play putt putt, go hiking – just do something together, talk, make memories and have fun.

3. Saturday or Sunday morning – For most families, one of these days is pretty laid back. For us, it’s Sunday morning. We go to the late service at church, so every Sunday my husband makes crepes and we watch cartoons together. It’s simple and fun. (And yummy.)

Unscheduled Family Traditions

Not all traditions need to be put on a calendar, though. Here are a few simple ideas that will put a smile on your child’s face and bring your family a little closer together.

1. Lunch box notes – Every day I write a little note on a napkin and put it in my daughter’s lunch box. Sometimes it’s just a simple, “I love you.” Other times, I’ll praise her for something she did well earlier in the week or encourage her as she learns a new skill. She looks forward to the note every day. Her friends do too…

2. Family handshake – Make up a fun family handshake. My daughter and I have one that she loves to show her friends when I visit her at school.

3. Family theme song – write or select a song that can be used as your family theme song. You could even use it on a family game night and have each member of the family run out to the game table while the song is playing and everyone else cheers. Cheesy but fun.

Whatever you do….DON’T make it too complex. Complexity and consistency usually do not go hand in hand. Keep it simple and it’s likely it will be a sustainable tradition. And someday, your grown kids will sit around a table and talk about all the memories.

Try it. It’s worth it.

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  • Avatar Jamee says:

    I have little songs that I made up and sing for each of my three children. My #3 likes to tell me ‘No, I sing it myself.’ As I was attempting to video her singing, my #2 said ‘Listen, she’s singing her family song!’

    I loved that!!!!! I love that I have given each of my babes a family song. And maybe I’ll sing it to them at their rehearsal dinner 😉
    .-= Jamee´s last blog ..Anyway you say it…… =-.