Here's how to add new traditions to your family's mix. You create these rituals a bit every day - they're anything you regularly do together.
Having dinner together. Your places at the table.
They're big Sunday morning breakfasts; inside jokes; how you spend vacations; favorite dishes; songs you sing in the car; how you celebrate birthdays; rainy day camps in the living room. Even bedtime routines.
These daily, weekly, seasonal or annual rituals make children feel secure.
And when the child reaches adolescence, they give her something to sneer at and rebel against. Just like we did. And that's OK, too.
They provide a way to keep moving forward. When my dad died on Thanksgiving a few years ago, our Thanksgiving routine helped us get through that difficult month and season. And since that year, we always light a candle on Thanksgiving to remember him. He has become part of our holiday ritual.
To create your own, consider what things everyone especially enjoys doing together. Then assign a specific time or day for each. The anticipation is part of the fun.
Expect these rituals to evolve. Those suitable for young kids are often too hokey for teens. Some you may want to adapt to your children's ages. Others you may drop altogether. But don't be surprised if they are reincarnated later when your children reach adulthood.
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