There have been different studies done that show that having traditions are a good thing for your family. Most of the time when we think about traditions, we associate them with special events like holidays, birthdays, or vacations. But, I think more than these big traditions, simple, more everyday family traditions create lasting memories and feelings of belonging and love within the family. And that is why I think they are so gosh darn important to have!
Everyday Family Traditions
So what exactly then is an everyday tradition?
While certainly there are the daily tasks and chores that get accomplished each and every day within a family, like meals, cleaning, baths, naps, and bedtime, they are the basic essentials of life, and shouldn’t simply be dubbed “traditions” simply because you do them everyday. Everyday family traditions have much more to do with how you do these daily things, and with whom, and when.
I think most families have everyday traditions, though they may not call them that, or think of them as such. But, I assure you, it is often these simple everyday (or weekly) habits that will become a core piece of your children’s memories of their childhoods! Think back to your own and try to recall the more ordinary things that you did all the time as a family.
The Family Traditions I Had Growing Up
For me, I recall how on Sundays we always got up and went to church, had soup and sandwiches afterward, and then would often have a big family get-together (I am the youngest of a large family) at my parent’s house. We would make “homemade” pizza (everything was pre-bought, we just assembled it) together and also had spaghetti. After dinner we’d likely pull out a board game and tempers and cheating would occur. It was loud. It was hot. And it was awesome.
Or I think about all the movies we’d watch together as a family on the couch (we only had the one TV in the house), where we’d always pop popcorn (sometimes in the air popper, but most likely just in the microwave) and pour the bag into a giant, empty and cleaned, gallon container that used to hold ice cream. We’d pass the big bucket around as we sat together and watched the movie, often popping a few bags to satisfy us all.
I also think about the many meals we ate together as a family around our giant wood table, or the trips we’d take as a family to the park.
I also remember that when we were sick, my mother would let us sleep on the couch or in bed with her (as my dad was gone a lot for work). There were also the other adventures of playing in our street when it would rain and flood with water, sometimes riding our bikes in it, and having a great time getting wet.
Those are all things we did regularly, or when the occasion came (i.e. sickness or rain). These memories are solidified in my mind because they were happy moments we had all together as a family (or as much of the family as was around), and we did them again and again, looking forward to them.
Our Everyday Family Tradition
With my own family now, I want to make sure I am creating our own everyday family traditions.
One of my very, very favorite things our family does is snuggle in our queen bed first thing in the morning.
My children wake up darn early (always have) at around 6:30-7am. There is no real sleeping in for my husband and I, and neither of us are super early risers (I’m much more of a night owl). So, our children know to either play for a few minutes upon waking, or get themselves breakfast when they get up.
However, at some point in those early moments of the morning, they always end up coming into our bedroom to snuggle in bed with us. They tell us about the dreams they had, and how they slept, and we tell them the same. We squeeze our children tight as we snuggle, tickle them, kiss them, and tell them how much we love them. It’s our family snuggle time. Some mornings we may even do an ‘everyone’s-hands-in’ Fagan family cheer (shouting “Fagan!” as we bring our hands up). We like to do a big, giant family hug and even sometimes family kisses session, complete with super kisses that last several seconds (and on the lips).
Our children absolutely love this family snuggle time, and my husband and I look forward to it just as much. It can last as few as 10 minutes, or as long as an hour as we move on to talk about other things, or just relax next to each other, or whatever. It’s a precious, sacred moment for us as a family. It’s fun. It’s happy. And it’s bonding. It’s my favorite moment as a mother, as a woman, as a wife, and as a family. It’s full of love and good feelings. It is such a fantastic way to start each and every day. It helps me remember how much I do love my children and our family before the craziness of life really begins for the day.
Others’ Everyday Family Traditions
While we do have other smaller traditions as a family, like having dance parties, and playing music when it’s time to clean the house, I thought it would be fun to ask other people what some of their family traditions are. Below you will find 13 other families’ everyday traditions. Let them inspire you as you create your own.
“When my youngest went to preschool and kindergarten, each morning I would ask a question about his day, something along the lines of, “Is your day going to be amazing, great or fabulous?” He would happily choose one, or sometimes all three, and head out the door. I liked knowing that he was starting off his day with positivity.” – Jessica C of Eat Sleep Be
“Every morning my kids ambush my husband as he gets ready to leave for work. “No Daddy you can’t go.” It’s quite funny to see three kids barricading the front door ready to tackle their Dad and take him down (and at 10, 10, and 8 it’s quite likely!).” – Ticia Messing of Adventures in Mommydom.
“We go on ‘super-noches‘ with the each of the kids. It’s where either my husband or I take one of the kids on a special date: it could be to get ice cream, or to throw rocks in the bayou, or to listen to music in the town center. The kids LOVE the one-on-one time, and it’s so nice to connect with them” – Becky Morales of Kid World Citizen.
“We try our best to have our meals together at the same time. We make sure we pray right before my husband and daughter leave for kindergarten in the morning and right after dinner.
My husband has come up with a series of bedtime stories – basically he comes up with a new piece as he goes – to tell the girls almost every night. These stories cover a certain virtue every time.
We also give a lollipop to our oldest after a shot or a blood draw as she is terrified of them and getting a lollipop is something to keep her mind off those.” Varya Sanina-Garmroud of Creative World of Varya.“We have a daily routine, which includes a morning craft (my daughter’s preference – I’m not crafty!), cuddles before naptime, and 4:30-7:30 is strictly family time. We try to celebrate our family and do special things on Sundays. We also have awesome Mom and Daughter dates, Jennifer Tammy of Study At Home Mama.
“We always eat dinner together. Right before bed, my son and husband have ‘Daddy Time’ and then I have reading and snuggle time.” – Deirdre Smith of J Daniel4’s Mom.
“We love to have ‘coffee’ together as a family. My husband and I have coffee and make babyccinos for the kids (just frothy milk with a bit of chocolate sprinkled on top). We sometimes have a treat to go with it. But really it’s an extra chance to just sit together and chat at the table.” – Niki Morgan of Play Learn Everyday
“We let them have ginger ale when they are sick, which is special as normally, they don’t drink soda. We also eat dinner together every night and read together before bed. Those are non-negotiable for me. We are only in the car for two minutes on the way to school, but my oldest always gets to pick the song. I used to make up different songs to the tunes of traditional lullabies. My mom did that too. We have lots of little routines and rituals. Motherhood has made me realize that I really rely on them.” – Amy Pessolano
“I rocked my kids until they were each five years old. I loved that part of bedtime! Now they are almost 21 (how can that be? I was just 21!) 15, and 10. We have our routines. All of our kids are very musically talented (I am not), so they play a song each night and my husband joins in. We have the drums, trombone, trumpet, upright bass, piano, violin, and ukulele going all the time. That is good daddy time. We eat dinner at the table EVERY NIGHT that is possible.
Where boo-boos are concerned, I always have a red rag and towel in each bathroom and the kitchen. That way if they are hurt, they do not see blood, so they do not panic. My 15 year old recently caught on to this little trick, and he said it was coolest parenting thing I have ever done. (Please note: he is the one that has needed the red rags the most!)
In the summer we cook out and swim every Saturday night. We have never made a huge deal about performances, simply because we would constantly be “celebrating” each child. We average 5 concerts per month, which is hard for this tone-deaf, non-musical mom!” – Amber Thomas
“I have to rock all the kids while I sing Rock-a-bye Baby to them, but, because I’m awesome (really my mom is), we change some words around: instead of ‘down will come baby cradle and all’ (how MORBID! haha) we say ‘Mommy catch (name) cradle and all.'” – Lindsey Morgan
“We have quite a few. One of my favorites is what we’re doing right now: Friday Fun Night. It ends with pizza and a movie at dinner time! The kids (and I) love it! It’s a great break from routine, keeps the kitchen clean, and is just super fun!” – Carla Jansen of Preschool Powol Packets
“Mike and I had been married for a few months when we decided to try an experiment. Last thing before falling asleep, we would each say three things that the other person did that day that we liked. It felt awkward and cheesy at first, but it grew on us over time. Mike puts Emma to bed most nights, and a few months ago he started the “three things I liked today” ritual with her. He’ll tell her three things he liked that she did and she tells him some things she liked about her day (usually more than three). Besides ending her day with a focus on what she enjoyed about the day, this helps us learn more about what she likes and what is important to her.
The deadlines at Mike’s job mean that he consistently works long days. In an effort to make it home in time for part of dinner or at least bedtime, he goes to work extremely early in the morning. The kids were sad about not seeing their dad in the mornings, so he started drawing them these notes to help them feel better. The kids have quite the collection of notes now, and they treasure each and every one!” – MaryAnn of Mama Smiles
I loved hearing about every family’s unique and personal everyday family traditions. Each family is unique, but creating great memories doesn’t have to be extraordinary and certainly not expensive. It’s about the little moments of family bonding, love, and good feelings.
What are your everyday family traditions? I’d love to hear about them!