Traditions and rituals are a part of family life that help contribute to a sense of identity, belonging and happiness. Though some may, traditions don’t have to require much work or expense, and those that are easiest to implement are most likely to be the ones that stick. Our family has established 5 traditions that I feel have been instrumental in increasing our family’s sense of togetherness and happiness that you too may enjoy adopting within your own family.
1. Taking Walks
We live in Northwest Fresno, in the Bullard High neighborhood and have identified a number of places that make great walking destinations nearby. Dutch Bros coffee, Yodiggity Yogurt, Judy’s Donuts, Walgreens/CVS, Casa Corona, the Bullard Pharmacy, Save Mart, Me- n-Ed’s Pizza, The Market, Homan Park and Oso de Oro Park – all are in walking reach to us, and we try whenever possible to walk there instead of driving. The time together in the fresh air gives us time to move our bodies, converse and take in the scenery and pass by and greet our neighbors. Spending time outside and frequent exercise are proven to both be mood and health boosters – so why not identify somewhere you can walk (or ride bikes, scooters, etc.) to and try to make it a part of your weekly routine. If your neighborhood doesn’t offer great destinations, consider making a short drive to a place that does (The Clovis Trail, Woodward Park) and set a day that is your family walk day – Sunday afternoons perhaps, as a nice recharge before the week ahead.
2. Family Movie Night
Though we don’t do this every week, we often shoot for at least one Friday night a month to be Family Movie Night. We choose a movie we haven’t seen, that we can all enjoy (thank you God we are finally getting into the phase of childhood in which my son wants to watch live action!) and we usually pick out a special movie snack as well (root beer floats, popcorn with M&Ms, sour belts – whatever feels like a treat). You likely watch movies of your own choosing from time to time, but sharing a movie experience gives you all something fun to talk about. You may even find yourself surprised with how much you enjoy a good, family flick (Holes was a great one for us).
3. Dinner Rituals
Once a week or every other week, I typically plan a breakfast-for-dinner night. I love them because they’re pretty easy on me, cooking wise, the ingredient cost is typically low and my son doesn’t complain about what’s for dinner (a nice change). Furthermore, it gives me a chance to try those fantastic looking breakfast recipes I pin on Pinterest, but don’t have much time to make during the week. Another couple I know has a homemade pizza night, where everyone tops their own pie on Fridays. Yet another family in my circle has taco bar night, and that is much appreciated by their brood. Whatever you choose, pick something you can all enjoy and that lowers your stress so you can enjoy the meal together and skip the “how many bites do I have to eat?” negotiation at least 1 night a week.
4. Yes Day
Have you ever had a Yes Day with your kids? A Yes Day is when you decide in advance that you will go along with pretty much anything they want to do that day (within reason) and just be present in the moment. Taking turns having a Yes Day for each family member gives youngsters the power of choice and provides each family member with a chance to compromise and perhaps even discover joy in doing something they wouldn’t ordinarily do.
5. Commit Random Acts of Kindness
Set a weekly or monthly date to either commit as many Random Acts of Kindness as you can that day and chat about them, or even better – do that and add a family Act of Kindness you plan together. My son absolutely loves bringing a treat or small gift to neighbors, ringing the bell and running off. I am more than happy to help him with that kind of doorbell ditch – and we both have a ton of fun doing it. Bonding over doing good for others contributes to family unity, enjoyment and sets a great example for kids.
What are your favorite simple family rituals and traditions? I’m always up for adding more to our life! Do you think you’ll adopt any of the 5 I listed with your own family? Leave me a comment – I love hearing from you!
Have a happy week!