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Morning Sun
  • EXTENSION CONNECTION: Creating family traditions

  • You may not realize it, but you may be creating traditions for your family that may last a lifetime. Everyday routines and the things your family looks forward too are the threads of life that bind us together as a family.

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  • You may not realize it, but you may be creating traditions for your family that may last a lifetime. Everyday routines and the things your family looks forward too are the threads of life that bind us together as a family.
    As your children grow into adulthood, it may surprise you to learn of the special moments of their childhood that they cherish and hold dear in their hearts. It may be as simple as a certain food you regularly had for breakfast, a special family recipe, or as mundane as the household chore everyone had to take their turn at. It might be the special family vacation your family took one summer or the times spent playing catch in the backyard.
    Many of these family memories are brought back to us through our senses; such as the way something tasted, or felt, the aromas in the air when you walked in the door. Or the view of the setting sun from the front porch or the sounds heard from the backyard.
    A strong family has a commitment to one another and keeps increasing in strength because of the time they spend together. The way we “do” things becomes our family traditions. You often don’t find them written down anywhere, but just ask one of the family members and you might hear of many family memories through family stories.
    Ohio State University Extension through their “Family Assets…Building Blocks for Life” resources lists three types of traditions that we need to recognize.
    Celebration Traditions are the things we do that are built around special occasions that call for a celebration such as birthdays, anniversaries or holidays.
    Family Traditions are created within each family to fit their lifestyles such as vacations, popcorn night, family reunions, ect.
    Patterned Family Traditions are those events that are centered around the day to day things in your family’s life such as dinner time, bedtime, and weekend activities.
    Families that have the most traditions or family rituals tend to have the strongest family ties.
    These rituals provide a sense of continuity, understanding and love that family members know they can count on.
    In a very positive way rituals touch the heart of the family and help members to feel good about themselves. These opportunities for the family good times carry individuals over when times aren’t so good.
    A University of  Wyoming study gives us five reasons to celebrate strong family  traditions and rituals.
    1) The time to relate or communicate with one another. As we take the time to care, to problem solve, and balance time together we learn to understand one another’s needs, goals and challenges in life.
    2) Help in adapting to new stages in life. Things like learning a new skill, caring for a family member, or easing into a new transition such as going off to college or a new job can be easier when there are strong family ties to support us.
    Page 2 of 2 - 3) When there is need to heal from a loss or a disappointment in life, family can support us and help us remember and build on the good times in life.
    4) Family values can be shared as families spend time helping others outside our family in their time of need.
    5) Family gives us a reason to celebrate the special events and special accomplishments in our lives.
    As you recognize the traditions and rituals in your family take time to also recognize the strength you have gained from them.
    Start today, by realizing the daily things you do that make your family special. Realize that those little things done together are really memories in the making!
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