What better way to create a deeper bond with the members of your family than with new traditions? These are opportunities for everyone, young and old, to take part in a shared family activity. Here are five ideas you can implement today in order to start a new family tradition.
Thanksgiving in July
Or… Thanksgiving in February. Or March. Or any other day during the year that will set it apart from the usual November holiday. Making a big turkey dinner is an opportunity to cook a favorite family dish, talk about old times, and slow down enough to have a real conversation with each other. (And the leftovers will save you from having to make dinner the rest of the week, too.)
Sharing Something About Your Day
In the busy world our kids live in, it’s too easy to run from one place to another without getting in some real conversation. One way to accomplish this is by creating a tradition of sharing something from your day. It can be big or small, positive or not, but it will help you see and connect with each other on a different level.
Mandatory Dinner Together
The family meal has gone by the wayside, but even with a busy schedule, you can still designate at least two to three times a week as a mandatory dinner. If your kids know this in advance, they can plan for it. Saying no to outside activities in order to say yes to your family is a good practice to start.
Writing Down Good Memories
Give each member a small notepad and have them write down the feel-good moments that happened to them throughout the week. Collect all the responses in a big box, and then read them one by one on New Year’s. This is a new tradition my family and I are starting, and I’m looking forward to seeing the final results.
Family Choice Day
Set one day aside (it can be weekly or monthly) where one family member gets a choice of something, like dinner, the kind of music you listen to in the car, the game you chose for game night, or the Saturday activity to do together. Rotate these through so each person gets to choose something.
This type of tradition can help family members to get to know each other better and also relate on a different level. It gives everyone a voice for at least one activity, and is good practice for teaching kids to put others first.