As an adult, you’ll undoubtedly have memories of various traditions that are unique to your family. From singing the same song when you set off on holiday through to individual family rituals held on Christmas Day, Eid, Diwali, Lunar New Year and other holidays, these are all important customs of growing up.
Carrying out familiar customs is a crucial aspect of creating strong family bonds and supports your child’s development as they:
- Provide a source of identity: Personal traditions tell stories about what’s important to your family unit, where you came from and an insight into the family culture.
- Teach values: Reinforce values such as ensuring you spend time with loved ones and the importance of family solidarity.
- Provide security: Family traditions are a constant in life, something that becomes even more important as children get older. The comfort that established (and much looked forward to) routines bring provides real support at times of change, moving house, changing school or during periods of grief. These benefits extend far beyond childhood – they stay with us for life.
- Create lifelong memories: Most of us have memories of certain family traditions that give us that warm fuzzy feeling. And here’s betting that they’re more centred around small yet important things, such as bedtime stories, family meals, and holiday get togethers…
- Connects the generations: Traditions, such as birthday and holiday meals, and time spent with extended family is so important, not only with immediate caregivers, but with grandparents, cousins, uncles, aunts etc.
It doesn’t matter how simple or extravagant your holiday celebrations might be, there’s always methods by which you can make delightful traditions that create a unique family identity. Perhaps you make a special dish to celebrate Eid, go marching on Anzac Day, or make lanterns for the Lunar New Year, it’s not necessarily the big-ticket spends that make for the best memories. Small, private interactions are just as solid, and often even more special.
The following are just some examples that might inspire you to start traditions with your own children. Some are holiday-focused, and others can be embraced at any time of the year.
- PJs and movie night: Stream a new film or an old favourite, snuggle up on the sofa as a family and create a tradition as to who chooses what to watch and, of course, the all-important snacks to share. Once a week, once a month, or however often you choose, it’s a wonderful way to spend a few special hours.
- Create a favourite meal: Children love cooking with mum, dad or their care giver. And even the tiny ones can help with the prep. Pick a dish that’s simple yet delicious – spag bol is always a firm favourite, and fun and messy to eat too.
- Story time: Not just the bedtime story, but one that the family makes up together. Make it a real event and as flashy or simple as you want. Getting the story down on paper or recorded as you go makes for a great keepsake, ones you can re-visit time and time again.
- Sunday morning breakfast: Sundays are made for such a tradition, and it can be as uncomplicated or as much of a blow out as you choose. The important aspect is that it happens regularly and is about spending quality time together.
- Full moon walks: Nothing’s quite so magical as being out in bright moonlight. Full moon comes around every 29 days or so, and whilst it might not always be possible, down to school nights and other pressures, it’s a wonderful (and completely free) way to instil a tradition and create lifelong memories.
- Meteor watching: Australia is possibly one of the best places in the world that’s offers (fairly) easy access to all for getting away from light pollution. OK, city dwellers might have a little more of an issue, but wrapping up and heading into the night for an hour or so of shooting star enchantment can be a wonderful experience (check out an online meteor calendar such as Time and Date for details).
These are just a few ideas that might spark inspiration for your own family traditions. The friendly educators at the nation’s favourite childcare and learning centres, Nido Early School, know all about the importance of these family customs. We also create a few of our own to further enhance our nurturing and co-learning environment.
To find out how your local Nido centre can assist with your child care needs and help ensure your little ones get the best start in life possible, get in touch via our website, wwwnidoearlyschool.com.au or pop into your local centre. We offer an open door policy and would love to meet you and discuss your requirements.