You can utilize every day rituals, the activities and routine of daily living, to establish family traditions. These might include rituals surrounding bedtime. Talking, reading, snuggling up together, and saying a prayer are things to look forward to on a regular basis.
These outings can include camping, hiking, or going fishing at the first sign of spring. The first ballgame of the season is often an event anticipated weeks ahead of time. A picnic to a favorite place or a backyard BBQ for friends and neighbors can create an atmosphere of cooperation in the planning and preparation for the event.
Family trips can include traveling to reunions to visit with extended family. An annual vacation may be purely for rest, relaxation, and fun, or may have an educational bent, such as a visit to a cultural/historical site or one that reflects a specific place or event that is being studied in school.
These traditions provide a sense of continuity and cultural identity and allow us to explore the similarities, the things that resonate within each of us individually, with our ancestors. Visiting the cemetery to the gravesites of family members is common to many cultures and affords the family a time to honor and remember those who have gone before us.
Birthdays, anniversaries, and other personal family events are occasions to establish any number of traditions, such as a favorite cake or meal, or visiting a place closely associated with the event.
- Traditions establish and strengthen family bonds by providing a solid structure, a sense of continuity, and a feeling of belonging.
- Family teaches values. Traditions support and communicate a family’s belief system. They instill faith and convey the family’s perspective on life experiences.
- The immediate family serves as your witnesses through life’s transitions, sharing and committing to each other in times of joy and celebrations and lending support and comfort through crises, disappointments, and losses.
- A healthy family unit is a vital force in the nurturing and molding of a child’s identity. Family traditions are a sound way to foster a sense of stability and security and this contributes to the emotional health, self-esteem, and self-respect of family members.
- The family serves as the model for all interpersonal relationships. The way an individual is cared for, supported, encouraged, allowed to express and be themselves in the family, or not, enormously influences the choices and decisions an individual makes moving into the future.
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