Keeping up traditions

by Nicole Gundi | Apr 13, 2017
For many families, Easter is a time of keeping up traditions.

Easter bags and colourful eggsThe excitement of waking up in the morning and running around in your pyjamas on an Easter egg hunt or just spending quality time with your loved ones. Whether you’re following traditions from the past or making new traditions, the time that you spend together and the things you do will be reminisced over in the years to come. 

But it’s not just about Easter.

Whether it’s having fun at birthdays, picnic lunches with cousins or cooking lessons with nanna, keeping up traditions is very important in an ever changing world to help give meaning and stability to children’s lives.

Sense of belonging

Families and the concept of ‘home’ help give us our identity. Memories of home often centre around who was there, what we did together and the lessons learned, like how to respect and value each other.  For most of us, family and home is the world we knew as a child and as an adult, it's the place where we feel safe to be ourselves, express our opinions and celebrate important milestones.

Keeping culture alive
Foods, dances, musical instruments, language in the native tongue and storytelling, are vibrant ingredients in keeping a family's culture alive and well. For children who spend a great part of their time engaged in age appropriate learning activities, these 'traditional' learning times can be rich in inter-generational sharing as older members of the family have the chance to share their own childhood experiences. 

Respecting differences
Celebrating differences gives children a chance to respect differences. Opportunities to hear and see different sets of values gives children a chance to ask, discuss, compare and include the views of others into their world view. Through family traditions children can learn who they are, where they fit, and develop confidence in their own unique identity.

Whose responsibility?
Keeping traditions alive is the responsibility of everyone. Grandparents, parents, carers, siblings, aunts, uncles and other extended family members and friends can all participate in encouraging family traditions.

Not all traditions can last. As children grow older, it will probably be harder to keep some traditions going. Friendships, activities and hobbies mean that children who are old enough to be independent, can't (or may not) want to join in. If traditions are important to the family as a whole, try to work around these occasions and settle on a time or date when everyone can be present.

The spin-off
Getting together to celebrate as a family can be more than just having fun. Sure there is the opportunity for play and humour. But shared family times are also opportunities for encouragement, the sharing of values and trust and can provide a sound basis for support to work through difficult times. 

Children, who have experienced the bonding and fun that family traditions can provide, are the parents who will want to continue old traditions and introduce new traditions to their own children.

Leave a comment