Lesson: A very practical way that we can enrich the quality of our children’s lives is by building traditions that they can hold onto throughout their lives. Family traditions can give children security when the time comes that they can’t be in your presence. It can also help them identify with who they are and where they come from. Not all traditions are good, so being intentional about creating traditions that will create comforting memories down the road is important.
Traditions that my parents incorporated into our family were very practical but I found comfort in those memories when I left home for college and I find myself doing them with my family now. It also prompts me to create new traditions with our children.
When we were growing up, we didn’t have any family that lived in the same city as us, so birthday and holidays were just the five of us, or four of us when my older brother left for college. We didn’t have to go here and there during the holidays, which gave us the day to just be together. I didn’t appreciate it as much then but I now see the value in having that time together. Those are very vivid memories for me. It’s important for me to create those moments for my family as well. Don’t get me wrong- we also love it when we can all get together as a big extended family too! A large gathering is the tradition my husband’s extended family practices most often. So we are trying to carry on both traditions for our family!
We also took annual road trips to the south where my father was from. When I say road trips, I mean long, long, long road trips. I’m sure we complained about them most of the time. That is until we got a big van with a TV to travel in! Those trips quickly turned into adventures filled with old school movies and created memories.
I love a good road trip now! It’s definitely a tradition that I’ve already started with my family. It’s all about making it comfortable and fun!
Another tradition that my parents built into their legacy was raising their family in one home. My older brother, who is eight years older then me, was about five or six when my parents bought their home. From that point on, that was our home. Many of our memories are connected to growing up in that home. We didn’t realize it then but now I see the value in my parents’ decision to raise us in one home. No matter where we were in the world and no matter what happened we knew we had a safe place to come home to. That was very comforting to me while living so far away for many years. They probably didn’t even realize they were starting a tradition but they did for me. 🙂
Application: Be intentional about creating traditions that will be comforting memories for your children one day. Think about some traditions you can start before the year is over.