Growing up I loved holidays! I didn’t really understand why and what I really liked about them, but something about holidays made me feel happy and excited. I really liked spending time with my family and getting presents from time to time was preeeetty awesome. There isn’t a person on the face of Earth that does not have fond memories of opening special occasion presents. Being an adult now, having my own family, I am utterly grateful for the family traditions I have and that I can pass on to my child.
Kids love the attention and the nice atmosphere during the holidays, family vacations, gatherings etc. They get to spend more time with their family and (almost) everybody is cheerful and relaxed. At one point they tend to lose interest in spending time with their family as opposed to spending time with their peers. Nevertheless, family traditions are quite important for their development into stable adults.
Some of the benefits of having family traditions could be summed up to these three things:
1. Sense of belonging
While the kids are small, they like routines. It makes them feel safe. As they grow up and become teenagers, despite the fact that they find them boring, it creates a sense of belonging somewhere. Teens are usually known for having hard time fitting into different groups. Having one group that you know will always be there and care for you, no matter how annoying “adults” are, is actually comforting. We, as parents, should never give up on the traditions we want to build with our children. May it be a Sunday family lunch, decorating the house for Christmas, movie nights, picnics in the park or whatever it may be, your kids will grow to love and miss those moments at one point.
2. Sense of stability
While growing up, we had lunch at 3 o clock, every day, the whole family together. At one point it stopped for various reasons and I have always missed those family lunches no matter how boring they were. Kids love the stability of their home. And that is created by traditions, routines, “rituals” and those usually involve having boring everyday conversations, some “stupid” rules your mom is trying to establish or something of that sort. Remember a time when some of these “traditions” changed in your life. It could be a positive thing for a short time to have lack of discipline and lack of structure, but every kid and especially teens miss it when it’s gone. And that is when things usually evolve into revolt or closing up and lack of communication.
3. Sense of pride and self respect
Growing up in a family that is very close and spends quality time together, creates a sense of pride while slowly turning into a young adult. Feeling that somebody genuinely cares about you, and therefore makes your presence to Sunday lunch obligatory, gives you some weird sense of self confidence. With younger kids, family traditions bring feelings of joy and comfort. As they grow up it gives them the feeling that they matter. Teens usually don’t care for impressing their parents, but knowing that your family cares for you, can give you a good start into adulthood.
So we as parents are responsible for giving our kids roots that will be there their whole lives and give them stability. Follow your family traditions, or even better, create your own! Your kids will be grateful one day.
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