Be connected to your faith, family and friends by being more involved, exploring new traditions and keeping an open mind.
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Creating Family Connections and Traditions
Besides the typical family traditions that come with the holidays or birthdays, Meg Cox, the author of The Book of New Family Traditions, suggests families intentionally create traditions that aren’t tied to holidays. Cox defines traditions as a family ritual or “any activity you purposefully repeat together as a family that includes heightened attentiveness and something extra that lifts it above the ordinary ruts.” Traditions, when done right, lend a certain magic, spirit and texture to our everyday lives.
Specifically, she recommends that families have three types of traditions:
- Daily Connection Traditions. Daily Connection Traditions are the small things you do every day to re-enforce family identity and values. Many daily connection traditions arise spontaneously from day to day life (e.g. family dinner, bedtime routines), other require intentional planning to develop positive daily traditions and rituals for your family. Without intentional daily connections, your daily family “tradition” will become watching TV together in the same room while everyone is staring at their own smartphone or tablet.
- Weekly Connection Traditions. Similar to the daily connection tradition, but done weekly. Could be a special Saturday morning breakfast or a weekly family game or movie night.
- Life Changes Traditions. These are traditions to celebrate big life changes or milestones in your family. These traditions can be something as simple as taking a yearly First Day of School picture or holding sweet sixteen family gatherings.
Traditions offer numerous benefits to our families and well-being, including but not limited to the fact that they:
- Provide a source of identity.
- Strengthen the family bond.
- Offer comfort and security.
- Teach values.
- Add to the rhythm and seasonality of life.
- Pass on cultural and religious heritage.
- Connect generations.
- Create lasting memories.