6 Powerful Reasons to Create and Carry on Family Traditions
Family Traditions are a truly important part of my family. I never realized how important or how many we have until I brought my husband into my family. His family is not very close- in the literal and figurative sense. My family on the other hand- he says “needs a family reunion once a month!” I mean he is not exaggerating but he does love it. My list of family traditions is extensive. I want to share with you 6 very powerful reasons to create and carry on family traditions with your family.
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Family traditions can range from something small like a meal you cook or a song you sing together to a big event like an annual vacation or family reunion. Wikipedia says a tradition is “a belief or behavior passed down within a group or society with symbolic meaning or special significance with origins in past.” My definition is anything you repeated with a group of people you love that brings you happiness and good memories! Most people think of tradition centered around holidays but traditions can also be smaller rituals as well! Think about things you do with your family as you read on about my 6 reasons Traditions are important to create and continue.
- Comfort and Security with Routine
- Quality Time, Attention Cup Filling, Togetherness
- Family Culture, Values, and Religious Lessons
- Positive Family Dynamics
- Sense of Belonging, Bonding, and Connection
- Making Good Memories
#1 Comfort and Security with Routine
One thing I have learned working with small children is how happy and better behaved they are when they have a scheduled routine and they know what’s coming. Adults like the same! The warm coy feeling of anticipation for a fond pastime or memory is something no one can deny. Anticipation is one of the most exciting parts of tradition!
Going to the same location for summer vacation every year can make that place feel as comfortable as home. Gathering with extended family for Christmas festivities on the same day and in the same place, each year gives security to the chaos of our day-to-day lives. Eating some Italian ice at the start of spring each year or a certain kind of food for your birthday dinner can make those days special. They are comfortable reminders that no matter how much time passes some things can continue.
#2 Quality Time, Attention Cup Filling, Togetherness
Traditions create moments of togetherness between people. If you are focused on enjoying the tradition with those around you it’s quality time! Filling the Attention Cup of those whom you care about is one of the Love Languages. Kids especially benefit in many ways from having a full attention cup. Quality traditions = Quality Time. If you don’t feel fulfilled after participating in a tradition with your loved ones maybe it’s time to change up that tradition to better suit you in a positive way. Being flexible to get the max benefits from traditions is important.
#3 Family Culture, Values, and Religious Lessons
Family values according to Wikipedia again, “are about the structure, function, roles, beliefs, attitudes, and ideas within that family.” Having traditions that model these things is a natural way to teach the values important to your family and pass them on to future generations. Traditions can highlight the importance of certain beliefs, roles, and attitudes that are important to your family. In America where so many people have different origins- location, culture, religion- carrying out traditions is a truly organic way to remember our beginnings. Holidays, Charity Events, Athletic Events, and Life Milestones are all examples of Culture and Value Modeling Traditions!
#4 Positive Family Dynamics
Many Family Traditions include more than just immediate family. Traditions should be about coming together for positive, good, and happy reasons. Family Dynamics according to themindfool.com is “all about the functioning of a family in good and bad situations. It also includes the ways of decision making, problem-solving, or even sharing feelings.” When people come together to spend quality time doing something they enjoy it builds bonds and positive associations that will help with group decision making and problem-solving or family dynamics during hard times. Like asking for help when you are sick or hurt is easier and second nature when you have those strong connections created during family traditions. I always used to tell my grandmother that she created an army of people always at the ready to help! And the feeling that gives in indescribably comforting.
#5 Sense of Belonging, Bonding, and Connection
Good Traditions should be about including others to join in the good times. When my husband was in the army we were far from my tradition-crazy family. I was hungry to belong to some people that were geologically close to me. So I created some of my own traditions that helped to build some new friendships and people that feel like family now!
My annual Shark Week party, Wine Wednesdays, and Pinterest Parties were all created around my interests and attracted others who would enjoy building a relationship with me. Of course, we shared the normal holiday traditions with each other and I even added a new one- May Day (Ice Cream for Dinner). These traditions made us feel like we belonged together and fostered a sweet closeness that I will always cherish no matter how far apart we all are now!
#6 Making Good Memories
Memories- things we remember that influence who we are. They have a hand in shaping our choices, relationships, and our identities. Creating good memories is something good traditions do without even trying. Traditions make good memories easy because when you repeat something it just gets stuck in your head. Then you can have that positive anticipation which is one of the best parts of a good tradition. Anticipating the joy, fun, connections, and comfort a tradition can bring.
Recording those memories is a sweet way to enjoy traditions all the time. Here are some quick easy ideas for recording Tradition Memories!
I am well aware that some families have traditions that are not good. If a tradition doesn’t give you these good feelings I have been talking about then maybe it’s time to change them! Changing a tradition to serve you better is always allowed. Creating a new better tradition is also a wonderful idea. Remember good family traditions should:
- Bring you comfort and security.
- Fill your attention cup and those around you with quality time and togetherness.
- Model ideas about your family’s culture, religion, and values.
- Create positive family dynamics.
- Build a sense of belonging and connectedness.
- Make Good Memories!
Things to consider when creating or changing a tradition:
- Food (recipes, when, and how to eat)
- Recording Memories (journals, photo albums, videos, and interviews)
- Reason (Holiday of Event)
Lots of content I create here at Savor the Mom Life is to help you create and carry on family traditions. They are truly important to my family and I hope to inspire you to enjoy them with yours!