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Family traditionsThe second year of your kid’s life is a great time to start new traditions. Well, some will say that “Tradition” is too big a word for this “thing that we do” as a family, but I just like the way is sounds. There is this “family values that stick for life” feeling to it. I can guarantee that any tradition you start when your baby is 12 months old (provided you will keep doing it for at least 6 months), your kid will like and remember.

I am no expert on kids (I only have one, he’s little and it’s a long learning curve) but I know this much: kids love things they can count on because it gives them something to look forward to and the feeling of security and stability. Kids love doing things with their parents, because it makes them feel important and loved. Having a tradition falls into both of these categories and adds a lot to your family bond.

Traditions can be of various kinds. There are weekend’s traditions and holiday/vacation traditions, summer and winter traditions, once-a-month or once-a-year traditions. They can be related to a visit of grandparents/aunties/uncles or to a celebration.

Our weekend’s tradition is gardening. Some would argue that it’s more of a chore, but we don’t see it that way. Chores are normally boring and gardening is something that we like and enjoy doing on a weekend. We let Eric dig little holes to plant the seedlings; he helps to water the plants and to sweep the driveway.

We have a summer tradition of going to the beach, and then, after a swim and a play in the sand, we all sit on the warm sand and eat cold sweet watermelon. Eric enjoys it a lot and every time I tell him: we’re going to the beach, he runs to get his towel and then to the kitchen, to make sure I haven’t forgotten the watermelon.

Creating a tradition is very easy, all it takes is introducing your child to something that you love doing and then, if he likes it - repeating it until it sticks. The trick here is to be honest with yourself, don’t try to make a tradition of something that you don’t enjoy just because you believe it will be good for the child. That won’t work - you all need to like it. Even if your kid won’t get it the first time, keep trying (at least a couple of more times). It is funny how after a while you can’t even remember what it was like not to have this tradition.

Don’t be discouraged if you can’t come up with an idea right away. Imagination was never one of my strongest skills, so if you’re thinking: “How am I supposed to invent a tradition?!”, I am hearing you. But you don’t have to be original - think back, when you were little, what was the thing you liked doing with your parents? Nothing can be too big or too small - even setting the table for an evening tee or baking a pie together counts.

Do you have family traditions? What are they? And what kind of traditions would you like to start?

Update: this post has made it to the Family Life carnival.

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