Stick with family traditions you know or make up your own; it’s all good!
As we edge towards another Easter weekend, as we do at a lot of holidays throughout the year, my wife and I start to think about the family traditions for each and begin to prepare for them. Some of these traditions have been in our respective family’s for years and others are our own spin or blend of what we experienced as children, but it got me to thinking about what effect it has on children and whether it’s important to do or not.
Why are Family Traditions important?
Family traditions are the glue that bind one generation to another. They give every member something to look forward to in our sometimes chaotic lives. They remind us to slow down and remember the things and people that are most important. Some traditions are based on God’s word, while others reflect cultural or ethnic beliefs. Effective traditions should create positive feelings and fond memories, while promoting a sense of belonging and creating a sense of safety and security in young children.
Karin at www.heartofthemind.com
While the source of this quote is a religious website, the message is great whether you’re into that stuff or not. Your traditions can be based around religion or on your own experiences or you can get creative and make some up yourself. While your parents and other relatives are your family, you and your kids are now your own family unit and you don’t have to follow rules when it comes to traditions, in fact you can make up new rules!
So what to do? Well it’s Easter, so immediately images of eggs and bunnies and chocolate come rushing to mind, but it can be so much more. Think about what your kids like to do and what they are capable of doing. Hiding eggs across an acre of parkland could be great for older children, but will be an epic fail for a newborn. Here are some ideas to get you started
- Make or buy Easter baskets – Whether you do this every year or aim for them to be used for multiple years, making Easter baskets is great fun. Shopping for a unique or quirky basket can be just as much fun, particularly if you give the choice completely over to the child
- Egg hunts – This can start from the moment your kids rise and last for ages afterward. Whether it’s around a bedroom, a whole house or an acre of parkland, egg hunts are loved by all. Just take note of where stuff is hidden (ants are fantastic at finding unclaimed eggs)
- Attend church – OK it’s not for everyone, but if you’re not a regular attendee, going once or twice a year for Easter and Christmas gives your kids yet another life experience. These are popular and memorable and many churches roll out the red carpet for children
- Egg painting or dying – An oldie, but a goodie and while it can be a little messy, OK a lot messy, that’s part of the attraction for young ones isn’t it
- Special breakfast or meal – While this could be anytime or for any holiday, imagine associating pancakes or some other special treat with Easter morning. It’s just another thing to make this time of year a little more special than usual
- Go on a holiday – Take the kids camping or go to a hotel/resort. Easter is great because it’s a super long weekend for most and what better way to celebrate than getting away. Whether it’s with family, friends or just you and the kids, this is the stuff memories are made of
Much the same as making a ritual out of sitting down to dinner with your kids at least a few times a week, kids look forward to these moments and get a sense of security from them when they can count on them happening. Enjoying this time together as a family will create positive emotions in each family member and the memories created will last a lifetime.
I think the main message I got out of my research on this topic and the writing of this article was that kids really do spell love T-I-M-E. Time appears to be the crucial ingredient in giving children a well balanced up-bringing and helps build good foundations that they can call upon in times of need. Not only that, it gives them something to look forward to doing with their own children in the future.
What are traditions does your family run with?