Our family has many traditions and rituals, some of which have survived from my husbands and my own upbringing, others of which we have created within our own nuclear family. By presenting opportunities to create family habits we have provided a sense of belonging, a sense of comfort and a sense of constancy.
Most families have traditions at Christmas, Easter and birthdays. In our house on Christmas Eve we all fall into the car and drive around the suburbs to see the Christmas lights on offer from different suburbs and communities. Christmas morning sees us all gathering in the lounge opening presents, watching and laughing, there is always coffee involved of course.
At Easter the children hunt for the eggs on Sunday morning after the Easter Bunny has visited in the wee small hours of the night before. This year we were fortunate enough to be surrounded by our extended family. I have always had a tradition of doing something ‘crafty’ with the children on Good Friday, this year everyone, including the extended family sat around our kitchen table and coloured. We ate, we chatted, we drank, we laughed and we coloured. This simple gathering increases our sense of family and allows my children to develop an ongoing strong sense of tradition from their childhoods.
Rituals and traditions provide opportunities for families to interact with each other. Everyone involved knows what is happening, how things will run and the outcome at the end of the experience, be it feeling so full and lazy from eating too much Christmas dinner, to feeling exhilarated after a family bike ride. Memories created. Done.
As parents it is our business to create opportunities for our children to develop strong, happy memories from their childhood. By doing this they feel connected to their parents, their siblings and anyone else who has participated in the experience. My husband and I are building strong foundations for our children so when things do go wrong they can stand on these foundations and build their resilience.