Your family probably has big traditions for big holidays, but daily and weekly traditions can be just as useful for keeping your family tight. Meg Cox, author of The Book of New Family Traditions, recommends three types of traditions every family should have.
Picture: Mark Levisay/Flickr
A tradition, she says, is "any activity you purposefully repeat together as a family that includes heightened attentiveness and something extra that lifts it above the ordinary ruts." The Art of Manliness explains that these traditions can strengthen the family bond, offer comfort and security, and teach values to your kids, among many other benefits. In order to reap the rewards, says Cox, try creating these three types of traditions:
- Daily Connection Traditions. Daily Connection Traditions are the small things you do every day to re-enforce family identity and values. Many Daily Connection Traditions arise spontaneously from day to day life (e.g. family dinner, bedtime routines), but in my experience it requires real intentionality to develop positive daily traditions and rituals for your family. Without intentionality your daily family "tradition" can become watching TV together in the same room while everyone is staring at their own smartphone or tablet.
- Weekly Connection Traditions. Similar to the Daily Connection Tradition, but done weekly. Could be a special Saturday morning breakfast or a weekly family game night.
- Life Changes Traditions. These are traditions to celebrate big life changes or milestones in your family. These traditions can be something as simple as taking a yearly First Day of School picture or something a bit more profound like dedicating a new home.
Of course, you can create others -- holidays and birthdays often come with traditions -- but these are the basic staples that every family can benefit from.
I highly recommend reading the full post over at Art of Manliness, which goes into more detail about why family traditions are so important, and how to create your own. Hit the link for more.