When the word “tradition” comes to mind, more often than not, those celebrated around holidays, birthdays or big life events are the first to come to mind. Some may make you smile, excited, or even laugh out loud when you think of them but whatever emotion these rituals solicit, the most important impact is how they shaped the story of your childhood. They taught you family values, created a strong connection with your parents and siblings and no matter how good or bad things were, they provided comfort and security.
As parents, creating your own family traditions is definitely one of the perks of the job. While big events are fun and easy ways to teach your children your family’s own special ways of celebrating, it is just as much fun to create traditions worthy for any day of the week! Not sure where to start? Here are some every day/week traditions to consider adopting as your own!
- Pizza Night – One night a week designate as Pizza Night. Everyone loves pizza and the ease of ordering delivery or pickup or even heading to your local pizzeria is the perfect way to end a busy week. Choosing the same night every week gives everyone something they can rely on. If you’re on a budget, make it a store bought frozen pizza! Bonus tip: If you have family friends with young kids make it a group thing. The kids can play while you parents relax with adult conversation.
- Family Breakfast – One morning each weekend make it a family breakfast. It can either be a trip to the local diner, a full-fledged at home meal with pancakes, eggs and fruit, or keep it simple with bagels or donuts. Block that hour or two out each weekend.
- Movie Night – Pick one night a week to be family movie night. Let your kids take turns picking the movie and the movie snack. If your little ones are still too little to sit still for an entire movie, make it a show instead. If your kids are a little older, make it a trip to the theater or the drive-in once in a while. (To locate a drive-in near you check out http://www.driveinmovie.com/mainmenu.htm .)
- Only Child Time – This one only pertains to the families with multiples. Once a month (for each child) hire a sitter or ask a friend/family member to watch the other kids and plan a few hours to spend with just one child, for their own “only child” time. It can be a meal out to a restaurant, a visit to the local children’s museum, or even just a playground outing. Your little will love the full attention from you and your partner!
- Sunday Night Dinner – Make Sunday night an early dinner with all family members’ attendance required. Stretch the dinner out longer than weeknight dinners. Sunday should be the calm before the craziness of the week begins. Ask your little ones what they’re most excited about for the upcoming week and what they may be nervous about. Discuss what your favorite parts of the weekend were and why. If the grandparents live close by, invite them to Sunday night dinner too!
- Story Telling Before Bed - Instead if the usual reading books before bed, make one night a week or even once a month a special story telling night! Curl up next to your little and tell a story from your childhood, an amazing moment involving a family member, or even make up a story! After a while, your child will be excited to use their imagination and tell their own stories too!
- Give the Gift of Dreams - Every night before they fall asleep, give those littles a kiss and ask them what they will want to dream about for the night. It can be the craziest, most incredible things their little minds can think of and these ideas are sure to leave a smile on both of your faces. Bonus tip: As they get older, ask them to recall how their dreams went over breakfast the next morning.
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