Reflecting on your own childhood, it’s likely that your family traditions will feature high on your most positive childhood memories. It might be as simple as the home-made birthday cake, a board game you played together or perhaps summers by the beach, but when you reflect on them, you will notice you can’t help but smile.
Those nostalgic family moments are a lot more significant than you might realise. You see, family traditions play an important role in childhood. Much more than just a fond memory, as a child they are like your favourite warm fluffy blanket on a cold winter’s night, comforting, reliable and best of all, familiar.
In an ever-changing world, the feeling of knowing what’s around the corner or looking forward to something familiar is comforting. Family traditions provide a foundation for this, they are the favourite familiar warm fluffy blanket of our childhood.
This familiarity is also able to strengthen family bonds, the “it’s how our family does it” feeling provides a strong sense of belonging. With that feeling also comes the added benefit of security and stability of knowing that it is not only how we do it, but despite everything it’s “how we ALWAYS do it”.
This combination of providing a sense of comfort and stability and perhaps wanting to build a little warm blanket for my own children is why I have started building new family set of traditions for my own kids. Yes, the Easter egg hunt from my own childhood is still alive and well, and we have kept traditions from my husband’s family too, but we have also built a unique list to share with our kids.
So, what does that list look like for my family?
I have made an effort to build a combination of every day and annual traditions, because I believe having only annual events is not often enough, you don’t always know when someone has had a rough day and "the blanket" is needed.
So, here are a few of our new family traditions:
- It’s the special signature kiss goodbye at the school gate (that is just rubbing cheeks because my 12-year-old son is too cool for a kiss).
- Piggy back rides up to bed each night from dad.
- A fun family handshake before we start dinner each night.
- Reading before bed.
- Nightly sit-down family dinners – with Conversation Cards of course!
- Birthdays are always spent waking to a room full of colourful balloons.
- A themed home-made cake decorated by mum and dad who are usually up until midnight completing it because we always underestimate what is required (or two for the twins!).
- We celebrate birthdays of loved ones who have passed away with sparklers, writing messages of love to them.
- Halloween requires lot's of decorating of the house, a party (non-covid years) and everyone dresses up.
- Plus, little things like new winter Pyjama’s for the kids for Easter and a coffee in bed for me on Mother’s Day.
These are all little things that are familiar and unique to our family and it's "just the way we always do it!".
Do you have any special traditions for your family?