Building bonding rituals and family traditions

Growing up, our dad would give my sister and I horseback rides to our room when it was bedtime. Sunday mornings we had pancake eating contests. In the summers, we camped around the White Mountains and rode in horse shows. (I thought no one worked in the summer, since my parents were both teachers!)

Those of some of the things that defined my childhood and what I remember most of growing up in our family.

Now that I have a family of my own, I am looking for activities that can become bonding rituals for our family. Things that we can look forward to and enjoy together now, and our kids can look back on fondly when they’re grown. And perhaps continue with us even after.
We still do the pancake tradition on weekends, only I add lots of banana and blueberries to build on my dad’s recipe.

But beyond that, I’m not sure we have anything we could call a family tradition yet. Maybe it’s because our oldest is only 3 still. Any rituals seem to be focused on sleeping, eating and bathing.

A couple of ideas we’ve brainstormed for family traditions:

• Once a year attend a major sporting event like the U.S. Open.
• A yearly trip to our favorite resort.
• Go blueberry picking as a family.
• A family picnic at the nearby springs when the weather turns warmer.
• Watching a certain movie together around a particular holiday.
• Researching a new destination together before we visit.
• Visiting a local exhibit that comes to town once a year.
• Choosing a new Beanie Designs kids’ hat every winter or spring for family photos.

I imagine there should also be lots of photos taken over the years as we grow our traditions…

Any ideas to add?

When will you let your little girl start wearing makeup?
How will your kids speak of you when they grow up?

Comments (2)

  1. Jessica B.

    My family had many of the traditions you listed growing up. Another one that sticks out in my mind for around the Christmas season (or another holiday you celebrate). My brother and I would always get to open a new pair of pajamas on Christmas Eve to wear that night. That way we always looked cute in the Christmas morning pictures. I plan to do this with my son. Have you ever heard of the Elf on the Shelf? This is a cute tradition that I also plan to use. I’m interested to see what other suggestions people have.

  2. Terri W.

    Growing up I had many family traditions that I still remember to this day. My family loved boating in the summer and had many great holidays together. We had many family traditions with our kids and now we can’t wait to start new ones and continue some with our new grandbaby.

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