Photo by Shanna
The following post is written by Steady Mom's monthly contributor, Kat.
Traditions are a powerful resource in the memory making toolkit of any parent. They give children a sense of belonging, security, and comfort. They foster a feeling of solidarity and unity within a family.
And they're just plain fun.Here are some simple ways to create memorable traditions in your home.
1. Give an extraordinary name to something ordinary.
Every Saturday night, my parents ordered pizza. It's just what we did. But when we gave a name to it, it became a really fun family tradition. And that was how National Pizza Night was born.
Is there something you do regularly? Maybe you watch a movie every Friday or go camping every fall. Give it a fun name, "The Smith Family Movie Extravaganza‚" or "The Smith Family vs. The Wild Camping Adventure‚" and turn it into a fantastic family tradition.
2. Turn chores into an anticipated event.
I often run errands on the weekend. I used to go during nap time or just take all the kids with me, but recently I started taking just one of my daughters each time. It's become a fun tradition.
Errands aren't fun, but they become fun when combined with one-on-one time with my child. My girls get quite excited when it's their turn.
3. Turn character development into a fun tradition.
With the arrival of summer has come a lot more sibling, shall we say, "Discussion." I've found that my kids haven't been using their nice voices as often as I'd like, so instead of nagging or punishing them for using grumpy voices with their siblings, I bought a trophy.
Each night the trophy is awarded (by vote) to the person who used the nicest voice that day. My kids LOVE it and it really helps them tame their tongue.
4. Create big event traditions.
Traditions don't need to be regular. They needn't be weekly, monthly or yearly. They can just be highly anticipated events that happen at a particular turning point in each child's life. Traditions are more about predictability than frequency.
When a child in our home turns five, they are taken on a special trip with Mommy or Daddy. Since we have two girls and a boy, I've been lucky enough to take each of my daughters on their special trips.
Ever since I took my oldest on the inaugural trip, our younger daughter dreamed of and planned for her trip. We went last summer and had a blast. Now, my son, is already thinking about where he wants to go with his Daddy when he turns five.
5. Create an "Un-Tradition."
Traditions are fun, but sometimes breaking tradition is even more fun.
Our children have a very consistent bedtime, so they get pretty excited any time they are able to stay up late. One fun thing I've done before is to have a "Pajama Run." I'll put them to bed, close the door, wait a few minutes and then I burst in, telling them to run to the car because we're going on a PAJAMA RUN!!! This thrills them to no end. The ice cream we get is simply a bonus.
Traditions don't need to be complex, expensive or even frequent. They just need a fun name, a little creativity and a lot of you.
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Kat blogs at Inspired To Action, a site helping moms develop the skills they need to manage their homes and raise children who are prepared to change the world. Kat and her husband Jimmy live in Texas and have 3 children ages 7, 5 and 3. Kat loves music, running, technology, Jesus and Tex-Mex food. Not necessarily in that order.