by Kari Hagen, Health Promotion Facilitator
Why is it so important to have family traditions? Traditions create a sense of belonging. They teach values and pass on cultural or religious heritage from one generation to the next. Traditions can also promote closeness and comfort to all the members of the family. If we do the same traditions year after year, it can provide a feeling of regularity and give children a feeling of safety.
This is the same for our daily routines; like bath and bed time, Friday night movie night, or a daily evening walk after supper.
Special occasions can be recognized in several ways. It could be storytelling, singing, baking, or making a snowman together when the first snow falls. Families might enjoy birthday traditions, game nights, or something as simple as a special breakfast made on Sunday mornings or once a year for Christmas morning, Valentine’s Day etc.
When you decide which traditions you would like for your family, consider what you like and what is important for you and your family. You might mix together traditions from the father’s family, from the mother’s family and from your friends. You may also want to take into account some of your hobbies and interests. After doing the same tradition for a few years you might have to change it up a bit. What we do when our children are toddlers might not work when they are teenagers and some of the tradition we do with teenagers might not work for younger children. Be flexible and adjust your traditions as your family changes.
These are some of the traditions we have used in my family: Send a holiday box to grandparents/relatives/friends. Go through the house and create boxes for giving away. Make cookies, go skating or skiing together, go for a walk and share traditions with friends.
It is important that you create your own traditions based on what makes your family members feel special. What traditions do you remember and treasure from your childhood? What is it that you would like to pass on to your children? By choosing one or two activities that your family would like, it might strengthen the family bond and help create wonderful memories for everyone.
For parenting/child development programs/information in your area such as Best Babies and Building Blocks in Medicine Hat, Brooks, Bow Island, Oyen and surrounding areas, and Families First and First Steps in Lethbridge, Fort Macleod, Crowsnest Pass, Taber, Milk River, Raymond and surrounding area, contact Kari Hagen at: [email protected].