The Importance of Family Traditions
Whether it’s the activities that a family always does, the everyday routines or the ways they celebrate holidays and special occasions, family traditions are an important piece of any strong family. Traditions provide a sense of continuity and foster powerful memories for families to build upon. They cultivate connections between family members and promote a sense of belonging. Traditions help family members commit to one another and they create memories over which to bond. Family traditions help create family stories and shape family histories. They are the glue that binds families together.
Traditions Foster Security
In an ever-changing world it’s often comforting to have some things stay the same. Traditions are one way to help family members stay grounded as they grow and the world changes around them. Because traditions are expected and predictable, they promote a sense of security. Furthermore they give family members events and rituals that they can look forward to.
Traditions Create a Sense of Identity
The traditions that one family celebrates differentiate them other families. These differences help to make families more distinctive. Unique traditions, rituals, customs and foods help to define families and create a sense of identity and belonging among family members.
Traditions Bridge the Gap Between Generations
Traditions not only help bond parents and children, but they also help to bridge the gap between young and old. Traditions might include coloring Easter eggs with Grandma, shooting off fireworks at Uncle Tom’s house or listening to Great-Grandpa read the “Night Before Christmas” every Christmas Eve. Many traditions span multiple generations and create lasting memories and strong bonds for all ages. Family traditions can also last long after family members have passed on and they can provide a link between past and future generations.
Traditions Encourage Family Members to Spend Time Together
These days it seems that everyone has busy schedules, even young children have dance class, soccer practice, piano lessons and other similar commitments. Certainly teenagers are overbooked with school, extra-curricular activities and part-time jobs. And, of course, parents are often working full-time while raising a family and having interests of their own. These busy schedules often leave little quality family time. Established traditions encourage family members to spend time together by setting up specific expectations. It might be a big family meal on Sunday evening or pizza and game night every third Friday. As long as everyone understands the value of these traditions, they make time and commit to spending quality time together as a busy family.
Family Traditions Can Be Simple
Traditions don’t have to be elaborate celebrations, they can be simple rituals, everyday routines or family recipes. That might mean taking a family walk after Christmas dinner, having chocolate chip pancakes on the first day of school or reading a story together every night at bedtime. You shouldn’t feel pressured to make their traditions so complicated that they never happen. People can easily get hung up in the details (decorating the house, making an elaborate meal, finding the perfect outfit, etc.) and create undue stress for everyone involved and lose site of the real tradition.
Traditions are a great way to bring families closer together. Our goal at CafeTraditions is to inspire you to create lasting traditions and also to provide you with a way to share your favorite traditions with others. Browse our site for new traditions that you can celebrate with your family or tell us how you celebrate with your family.