Traditions are those special somethings that create memories in our childrens’ hearts, that secure that ‘we’re part of this family and we love it!’ feeling. The older my little ones get, and the more I see how everything we do, say and experience with them moulds them in such a powerful way, the more I tend to (panic, and then) dig deep and reevaluate what I and we as a couple, would like to see happen in our home, that will mould our kids in the best and most memorable ways.
Some traditions are fun and whacky, and others are serious, but in the end, every tradition and habit you create for your family just adds to your family’s uniqueness.
A Few Family Traditions We Like
1. The Tradition of Family Mealtimes and Grace
As often as we can, we all have meals together around a table, with distractions turned off. We say ‘grace’ or ‘give thanks’ before meals. Sometimes, our older two kids get a chance to say grace too. My four year old’s grace is usually very serious, and may be as short as ‘Thank you Lord for this food,’ or a good deal longer where he’ll thank God for every family member, close and extended, as well as everything he can think of in his room. Very cute. I love that with this tradition, we are grateful & bring in an awareness of God into our busy lives.
2. The Tradition of Prayers At Bedtime
We keep it simple at the moment – we each thank God for one thing that day that made us happy. I like the focus on gratitude at the end of the day; I think it’s a nice thing to be thinking of as you fall asleep! Again, we take turns, and such cuteness comes from these prayers; like ‘Thank you Lord for our wonderful baby’ (10week old baby brother)
3.The Tradition of ‘Keep Trying’
A few years ago when our first son was born, we began this one; a stubborn approach to all problems faced, and now it’s sort of become our family mantra, if you like. Whenever our kids get stuck on a problem or task, or if they fall or fail, we say ‘KEEP TRYING!’, so much so that they now tell each other (and US!!) to KEEP TRYING. I love how it takes the edge off a frustrating activity, and builds a type of toughness and persistence.
4. The Silly Games Tradition
I’m a pretty serious person in general, so I like this one as it helps me lighten up a bit, and I love seeing how much fun the kids have with silly games, especially with their dad! One game of theirs is the ‘beep boop’ game. Pressing dad’s nose and saying ‘beep boop’ turns him into a tickle monster, or a raging bull. #cue screams of laughter (and a good laugh from me too, nothing like playing with kids to make a grown human act silly)
5. The Tradition of Forgiveness
My 4 and 3 year olds seem to fight at least 50% of the time they’re in the same room, and one of the greatest and sweetest things I try and teach is reconciliation and forgiveness. Once everyone has calmed down and I’ve heard both sides, one of the sweetest things to watch is the two of them making up and one asking ‘will you forgive me’ and ‘Im sorry’. I think it’s a great value to learn for later in life too – the ability to see when you are at fault, AND to say ‘Im sorry’.
6. The Tradition of Focusing on the Positive
I read recently of a family who were watching the news on TV, and they were showing live footage of a bombing that had happened. My usual instinct is to turn of the telly and protect my kids, but this mom turned to her kids and said, ‘look for the helpers.’ I really loved that approach, and attitude to bad news! In how many other situations can we teach that to our children!? It’s something that can become second nature if done frequently enough. Awesome!
These are some of our special family traditions.
We’d love to hear what some of yours are, please share with us!