Families tend to grow apart and it usually happens when our children grow up and go off to college. Sometimes it happens even earlier for some families when their kids grow into their teens and the estrangement happens seemingly on its own. You wonder what you had done wrong and if you missed something along the way that allowed this to happen. You look for parental advice that’ll somehow cinch this family unit back together. And you realize that there were so many things you could’ve done a lot earlier that could have possibly prevented this separation.
This is exactly the reason why we shouldn’t underestimate family traditions and rituals. Your teenagers may think it’s an exhaustive and needless thing that bears no value and is a waste of their time, your spouse might see this as something to needlessly waste more money on, and your younger children won’t have enough of an attention span to appreciate it and won’t really know its value, not until they grow up enough to recall it fondly.
Family traditions and rituals don’t have to be expensive or as intricate as a Kardashian annual Christmas party. It well serves you very well to remember that these rituals are all about the sentiment and not the price because memories last longer than money does, that’s for sure. In this article, you’ll get fifteen family rituals and traditions to keep you closer. What more could you want in terms of parental advice?
1). Start A Plan Jar
Field trips or road trips are done best while your kids are still young. Kids tend to appreciate the adventure and the sighs and sound more. Especially if it were a trip to Disney land, although we don’t always have the finds for such trips, not of we don’t start saving, of course! You can pick a particular time of year where you or your spouse are freest and build this money jar around it.
Your kids will appreciate seeing this gradual build-up of funds for an exciting trip. The more it fills up, the closer your family unit is to an adventure. This will also instill in them the value of saving money, and when the trip rolls around. This helps them realize that after saving, you can reap the benefits of your hard work.
You’d be surprised how much you can gradually put away. This can be done yearly and will become something your family will look forward to. Imagine how special it would feel when you as parents grow old and are surprised by your kids doing the same for you instead. This is one family ritual and tradition you can’t pass on, and one wise piece of parental advice.
2). Have A Dedicated Food Night
You’ve heard of Taco Tuesdays, Spaghetti Saturdays, and more. There’s a reason why food and eating it is considered a leisurely activity in Italy. Where they take the time to sit down with friends and family amidst a feast and good drinks. Food is a brilliant way to bring people together and thus is a brilliant weapon of ultimate closeness to unleash on your family. This is a ritual or tradition you should do weekly if possible. Or monthly at best if you’ve got older children that are off at college far away. Pick a dish unique to your family and take turns at being the dedicated chef. How’s that for brilliant parental advice?
3). American Idol At Home
We love watching these sometimes uplifting yet sometimes embarrassing shows after dinner or during, but have you ever thought to bring these shows into your own home? All families have a few talented relatives here and there, show your appreciation of them by gathering around and having everyone perform. Have a rotation and don’t allow anyone to back out. This is a challenge for everyone’s confidence and a brave stand against stage fright.
4). Show And Tell
Similar to the at home talent competition, the show and tell night differs only slightly as family members gather round to speak about things they’ve made or what they’re currently working on. This option offers a lot less stage fright and more of just plain old conversing. Some can argue that this is a good sneaky technique to get your kids to open up to you, and for you to show them that you appreciate it.
5). A Familial Stroll
This wouldn’t be great parental advice if we didn’t remind you of the simplest of ways you can build camaraderie with your family, and also maybe even a few leg muscles. Do this one night or day a week or even daily. You can even walk your dogs (or cats) along with you. Pick a comforting environment like along a lake, a boardwalk or the beach.
6). Bedtime Stories
This one is easy and is probably a normal occurrence in your household. If this isn’t already happening, then here is another great piece of parental advice: take time out of your night and night routines to read your kids a bedtime story. They can fall asleep feeling comforted and appreciate you taking some time out to do so.
7). Dedicated Child Day
It doesn’t matter if you’ve got one child or three, plan out a day or afternoon with them Where they get to decide what you do. Whether it visits the puppies at a shelter or sit outside an ice cream parlor eating all the ice cream you can stomach. That last part is debatable nutrition-wise as far as parental advice goes. This can cement your closeness and they’ll miss it when they grow up.
8). A Family Giving Back
Volunteering is hard work, but the benefits in terms of self worth, pride and self esteem that we get from giving without expecting anything back is boundless. Not only is this a good way to influence your child, but this is also very character building for them.
9). Family Bake Off
You can make this as exciting or as intense as you want. Maybe you’re going for a more bond-building experience rather than a Hell’s Kitchen episode, but doing this during each season will leave a mark on your child and bring you closer. It’s that food again, I tell you.
10). A Family Of Campers
Remember the travel jar that was first on this list? You can use that to plan a camping trip, too, and it can be as luxurious or as rugged as you want! You can do this monthly or yearly.
11). Movie Night
Who knew something so simple could have such great results. We all have one thing in common, and that’s getting lost in a good flick, that or we take part in tearing apart a horribly made one and laughing endlessly about it. You can do both!
12). Spring Cleaning
Not all activities have to be enjoyable, some can even be beneficial after the effort’s been put in. Everyone acquires a good amount of junk whether they mean to, or not, but if you do this monthly, you can teach your children the value of a clean home and how not to hoard. You can even show them that what you no longer need can be donated to help someone else.
13). An Alternative Birthday Gift
Instead of just presents, show them what it means to grow older and gain new responsibilities that comes with growing older. These are teachable moments even if this is just as small as being the main person to mow the lawn or do dishes.
14). A Trip To Memory Lane For Christmas
You probably didn’t need our advice for this one, because you’ve probably got so much footage of your children as babies and kids being silly little kids. You can dedicate a little time on Christmas when everyone’s around to sit down and watch them try to shovel spaghetti into their mouths when they were toddlers, and so that your kids don’t start an uprising and call you unfair, pop in your old baby footage on their grandparents’ VHS tapes. Just be sure you’re ready to relive a few embarrassing moments.
15). An Heirloom Of Great Importance
We don’t have a lot of time to appreciate our families, and so when they pass on, sometimes the best reminders are things we can wear and hang onto. Contrary to what we’ve seen in movies where family heirlooms are worth a ton of money plus an arm and both legs, an heirloom doesn’t have to be expensive. It can just be your mother’s ring or necklace that you can pass on to your child when the time comes, and with it, they can do the same for their child when their time comes.
Aside from photographs, you want something to remember them by that’s actually touched them. It can be a jacket that you wear often and will smell like you, a book or a piece of jewelry. Some have even kept their mother’s older make up sets or perfume bottles that they can pass on to their daughters. Whatever the heirloom is, there’s no doubt your child will cherish it when the time comes.