5 Proven Ways To Build Resilience In Your Child
8 Family Traditions To Start Today
The rhythms & routines of family life are what make up the fabric of life for your children.
It is often the ordinary moments, the ones filled with connection, that bring the most joy into our lives. These are the moments we crave as parents, & what our children will remember fondly.
What we do repetitively has more impact on our children’s lives, than what happens once in awhile.
In his book Simplicity Parenting, Kim John Payne says:
“Meaning hides in repetition: We do this every day or every week because it matters. We are connected by this thing we do together. We matter to one another. In the tapestry of childhood, what stands out is not the splashy, blow-out trip to Disneyland but the common threads that run throughout and repeat: the family dinners, nature walks, reading together at bedtime, Saturday morning pancakes.”
Children find security in the certainty and predictability of routines. When they know what to expect from a situation or relationship, it decreases their stress response & helps them feel safe.
Intentionally creating rhythms, routines & traditions in your family life is an important part of cultivating resilience & emotional health in your child.
8 FAMILY TRADITIONS TO START TODAY
Closely connected families have a tradition of regularly eating one meal together a day. This is the one time of day where everyone’s individual priorities must hold for the purpose of connecting together over a meal.
The family meal can be a special moment together by setting the table, lighting some candles, & saying a prayer. You could ask every family member to share their favorite part of their day or what they learned that day.
Creating fun themes throughout the week can also make it a regular tradition to look forward to. For example: Saturday morning pancakes, Taco Tuesdays, Meatless Mondays, Pizza Fridays.
Reading books with your children is an important part of their emotional and social development, & can significantly increase your connection with them.
Reading increases a child’s development of empathy & literacy. Even reading together after your child can read for themselves can be a beautiful moment of connection, & something they remember fondly from their childhood.
To create closely connected relationships & have influence in our children’s lives, we must make an investment of time.
Quality time is time set aside for the purpose of connection.
Family quality time together could be having a “family night” watching movies, or your family tv show together; playing board games; or after dinner walks together.
Individual quality time could be “Mommy or Daddy dates” where you take you child out alone for special time together. It doesn’t matter what you do together (don’t worry about having to spend a lot of money), the most important thing is the connection.
If you are raising children alone, or your spouse is away a lot, you can also create this special time with your child by setting up other siblings with activities for a short time, or once the younger siblings have gone to sleep.
(For more on this, see our blog “How to give your child the quality time they need in 10mins” click here).
Closely connected families have fun & laugh together. The more we do enjoyable activities with another person, the more connected we feel to that person.
This could be dance parties in the kitchen, playing together in the backyard, going to the pool, or going out to a special restaurant when there’s a special occasion.
Our lives often move at such a fast pace that we can quickly forget the joys and blessings of each day. When you focus on collecting memories, it reminds us to stay present in our current moment.
Some ideas to collect memories:
- Happiness Jar – write down happy memories that happen throughout the day, & then read these at the end of the month, or the year.
- Interview you child once a year (at their birthday or beginning of school) & ask the same questions every time.
- Write your child a letter once a year (on their birthday), & gather these up for a special gift on their 18th birthday
- Print out your family photos in a photo-book or display them throughout your home.
- Invest in a professional family photoshoot
It is repeated, meaningful experiences that we share together that creates our bond and connection. This may be hobbies that you love, sharing your faith with your children, having new experiences together, or intentionally sharing acts of kindness with others.
These could be:
- attending church
- attending local events in your area
- arts & crafts
- bedtime prayers
- reading together
- traveling to new places
Our children deeply desire our physical affection, even when they grow into their teen years.
By creating routine moments of physical affection, it ensures that physical affection isn’t something that drifts away when life becomes busy.
This might be morning or bedtime hugs; a hug before you leave for work or school, high fives when they do a great job at chores, or stroking their hair when you read together.
When we write down love notes of encouragement & affection towards our family members, it is a meaningful gesture that is treasured. You might even create a special box for each family member where you can keep love notes from each other.
You could write love notes for birthdays & special occasions, hide them in school-box lunches, under their bed pillow, or inside a book.
These notes are encouraging to the heart of a child.
When you intentionally create family traditions that encourage connection with your children, it forms the fabric of their childhood memories, & establishes their emotional & social development.