Guest Post by Susan Heid
Studies show that traditions are quite important to family happiness. In fact, family rituals encourage children’s social development, boost feelings of family unity and help provide connection and predictability, which people–especially children–crave.
What we do as a family are our traditions and help define who we are. It’s what makes your family different from another; what makes your family special. Traditions are an easy way to strengthen your family and create lasting memories.
Don’t miss out on the benefits traditions can have in your family by waiting for a special occasion. Here are 5 everyday family traditions you may want to adopt as your own.
1. Family Date Night
Usually date night refers to spouses making time to get away alone. But why not make specific time to have a date out as a family? Whether your children are toddlers or teenagers you can adapt an outing to fit your need in that season.
It may be as simple as a trip to the local ice cream shop, dinner at your favorite restaurant or something more adventurous, like miniature golf, rock wall climbing, or go-cart racing. No matter what you do, it’s a great opportunity for everyone to reconnect after a busy week of school and work.
2. Weekly Game Night/Afternoon
Set aside one night each week, or an afternoon if that fits your family’s schedule better, and play some board games together. Make sure you set some expectations for this time by banning television, computer, and cell phones; everyone needs to be participating with undivided attention.
Allow a different person to pick what game you will play each week. If once a week is too much, then try once a month. Write it down on the calendar, too!
3. Weekend Morning Breakfast
Get up a little earlier than usual and enjoy a hot breakfast together, or even make a breakfast casserole the night before to pop in the oven! Having a meal together will set the tone of your day as a family. You will have opportunity to share stories that may have gotten forgotten during the week or even discuss the day’s activities.
4. Read a Book Together
Pick a family friendly book that is appropriate for the age of your children and read a little each evening. You probably read a lot when your children were younger, but as children get older, this ritual tends to fall by the wayside.
Decide on a time that will work for your family and spend 15-20 minutes reading, even switching off reading different chapters with different family members. The perfect time to initiate this tradition is immediately following dinner and right before clean-up; everyone is already gathered around the table!
5. Rough It Together
Go on a yearly camping trip by picking a particular weekend each year for your family to get away. Go one step further and return to the same location year after year. Take a family photo while you are there with the same background and watch how each year everyone changes.
If you are not a tent camper, no worries – many state parks have cabins or yurts which make it a little easier. Family memories of making s’mores around a campfire are priceless.
Whatever traditions you decide to put into practice know that you will be encouraging a stronger bond and a feeling of belonging among your family members. There’s simply no replacement for quality time spent together.
Leave a comment! What are your favorite family traditions?
Susan Heid is the mom behind The Confident Mom where she loves inspiring moms to make small changes managing their home and family life giving them more time, less stress, and stronger family relationships! Her FREE 5 part mini series: “The Opening Act” is helping moms become the calm and cool mom they want to be! Join the community of moms on Facebook and find her on Twitter @ConfidentMom.
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