Traditions are stories, beliefs, rituals and customs that are passed to family, from one generation to the next. Research shows that these traditions are important in building strong family relationships throughout multiple generations.
The Scientific American sites studies of online participants who describe rituals performed with family including Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Easter. Participants that took part in collective family rituals felt closer to their families than those that do not.
The types of rituals do not directly affect the enjoyment that families experience, but the frequency of rituals does. Results show families that share frequent rituals are closer than families that share fewer rituals.
Routines and traditions are an important aspect of healthy families. Traditions create a sense of security, continuity, and routine. Traditional activities help promote healthy family relationships that span generations.
Here are five reasons why maintaining traditions is good for your family:
- Traditions create consistency in our fast paced and stressful lives. Tradition provides an opportunity to create memories as a family. Traditions allow a family to slow down, appreciate and express gratitude. Family traditions are consistent and something a family can look forward to participating in together.
- Traditions give families something to look forward to. An activity that the family can anticipate that is fun and enjoyable.
- Family traditions are enjoyed by the entire family. Even the simplest of traditions create reasons for families to get together. Traditions often consist of social events, eating, drinking and other fun and memorable experiences.
- Traditions build memories that are made with laughter and experiences that are built on, year after year
- Tradition forces families to focus on the things that are truly important. It provides families a sense of closeness and exemplifies the love of family and the importance of being together.
Keeping traditions for holidays, as well as celebrating ordinary days, helps teach family values and increases the sense of belonging. Being a part of family traditions solidifies the importance of belonging to your family.
Families change over time and family traditions can change too. Though traditions can change over time, most important is the sharing of memories and family values. Traditions help to bind families together. To make family traditions more memorable, take time to talk about the special things your family does and why it is important to you. Include all members of your family in the planning process of special traditions. Including all members of the family in planning traditions allows them a deeper understanding of why these traditions are important to the family.
Here are some ideas for creating special events that can become traditions for your family:
- Plan a ditch day by selecting a specific day to take them out of school for fun and bonding
- Play touch football every year on Thanksgiving Day. What better way to get ready for the big meal than to get moving beforehand?
- Record a birthday voicemail and embrace being louder, goofier, and sillier than you would ever be in a regular phone conversation.
- Celebrate movie and pajama night once a year in new pj’s while enjoying special snacks and watching a movie that can be enjoyed by the entire family.
Start the conversation with your family today, to identify what traditions might be valuable for you. Traditions done right, lend a certain magic, spirit, and texture to your everyday life.