What is a tradition?

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘tradition’? Do you think of a Thanksgiving Turkey or piñata on your child’s birthday? The world is filled with a beautiful mix of intriguing traditions.
A tradition is said to be the passing on of culture, customs, or beliefs from one generation to the next. Yet we can start new traditions. We can partake in traditions with our peers. Whatever their definition, traditions are beneficial to our kids. They provide children with connections, comfort, care, and a personal identity.


Traditions provide an opportunity for people to come together. They are times to connect with friends, families, and multiple generations. Beyond coming together, traditions build relationships. This happens as people work and prepare for the traditions together. It happens when positive memories are created. It also happens when we recall those memories.
We want our children to have lots of shared memories with each other. This is one of the best indicators they will have positive relationships with each other as adults.
So traditions help children strengthen relationships. And these relationships give our children a sense of community and of belonging.


Many traditions originated in the changing of the seasons or in personal milestones such as birth, puberty, or marriage. These traditions help us mark the passing of time. They help us make sense of the world. They bring order and predictability. And this can be comforting. Humans, especially children, can find predictability reassuring. It builds their sense of security.


There is something special or magical about traditions. It seems the soup we only have just once a year is more delicious than the ones we have more often. The rarity of the tradition gives it weight. It makes it more meaningful.
The time we invest in our traditions demonstrates their significance, both to ourselves and to our children. In this way, we pass along values, culture, religious heritage, and skills. Children learn about giving, sharing, and caring. They learn how to show appreciation and love. They learn it is important to celebrate together. And they learn how to support people in the sad times.


Ultimately, traditions help our children develop a sense of identity. And research has shown that a strong sense of identity is linked to self-confidence.
So what traditions do you have? Have you thought much about their significance? This week we will dig into the art of traditions.
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