Teaching family traditions to children
Routines big and small regulate your child’s day and his seasons, this is what forms their early learning including traditions. Their predictability fosters a deep sense of security. You probably have many daily routines already — a mid-morning snack, a book and a song at bedtime. But don’t overlook the big routines, otherwise known as traditions. It’s great fun to pass along those from your own childhood, or to think up brand-new ones that suit your family for birthdays, holidays, and other special times.
Traditions that revolve around birthdays, holidays, and seasons help to create strong families. Think back to your own childhood. Can you remember the smell or taste of a special birthday cake your mom used to bake? Or the excitement of going to the pumpkin patch year after year?
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Now’s a great time to start creating those memories for your child. Traditions offer a way to stay connected. Working together to bake Grandma’s special cookies, you can share stories from your own life as well as from the generations that came before. “Grandma used to make these cookies with me when I was your age. I remember how she would let me help stir and how we’d decorate them with raisins and sprinkles.” Traditions are a kind of kin-keeping that’s especially important in an era when extended families are often geographically scattered.
The predictability of traditions also helps children feel secure. Even though your 3-year-old might not remember what happened when he was 2, over the years he will remember many aspects of these ritual celebrations. What’s more, attending religious services or helping out every Thanksgiving in a soup kitchen helps children learn values that are important to you.