Family Traditions Build Lasting Memories

“Hot” and “humid” are the only two words that accurately describe Georgia during the months of July and August. Popular activities include anything that involves water or air conditioning. It’s easy to let kids spend the long, hot days soaking up the AC as they indulge in a months-long Netflix binge.

There’s nothing wrong with a little Netflix, of course. But all downtime, especially downtime for children, probably shouldn’t be spent glued to the sofa.

Family traditions are the perfect way to make memories that the whole family will cherish. Don’t worry, they can include air conditioning. Attending church each week as a family is an important tradition that strengthens their foundation for a lifelong relationship with Christ. It also helps your children develop the discipline and habit of making church, faith and community a priority.

Most families have one or more holiday-related traditions. How about traditions during the summer? Summer schedules are more flexible and homework, for the most part, doesn’t exist.

A tradition doesn’t have to be a huge, expensive undertaking. How about Thursday night ice cream outings, a family volunteer day, or a day when the kids plan, shop for, make and serve dinner?

Traditions can be part of a vacation, or a staycation (the new term for taking time off and having fun together, without the expense of a trip). Whoever wins the most games on the car ride to the beach chooses the restaurant for dinner that night. If it’s a staycation, hold an annual outdoor movie night and campout in the backyard.

The critical element of a family tradition is the “family.” Whether you have a two- or eight-person family, every person is an essential member of the “club.”

Keeping traditions alive requires advanced planning, especially as kids get older and busier. Don’t discontinue a tradition even if certain family members decide they are too cool or busy for such childish endeavors. As long as their friends know they are not participating by choice, it won’t take long for a teenager to begin having fun and lose the bad attitude persona. Family time, whether your family admits it or not, is good for all involved.

So, try it. Turn the TV off and come up with a family tradition. You can even get the whole family to help. Traditions force people, no matter how busy they are, to spend time together, preferably enjoyable time. It really is hard to mess this up. Family traditions strengthen family bonds, teach values and give children a sense of identity and belonging. They also create memories to cherish for a lifetime.