Teens And The Importance of Tradition

There was a year we celebrated one of our teen's birthday early. We had the cake and presents; we reminisced through the baby book and showered that teen with special care and love. A scheduling conflict with all 7 members of the family came up, so this seemed like a reasonable solution. NOT! On the said teen's {child will remain nameless to protect them from unwanted memories} birthday morning, the normal tradition was not in place and that teen was sorely disappointed. 

We have traditions in our family; there are 'things' we do for birthdays, holidays, vacations and special remembrances. As the kids got older, we have found that these traditions are expected and encouraged; they get disappointed if things are not as they have always been.

 

A favorite tradition: family summer vacations with surprise tasks and notes.

A favorite tradition: family summer vacations with surprise tasks and notes.

Every culture and family has their own reasons for traditions. Here are a some of my thoughts: 

  • Traditions help teens know what to expect. There are standards set in place to help them make connections and understand their place in the celebration or remembrance. The constancy supports them.
  • Traditions create memories. These are opportunities to step out of the norm and do new and fun things. Teens love to see their parent on a roller coaster, screaming for salvation; great memory and photo opportunity! 
  • Traditions help teens with identity. This is the one place where your teen should feel included, recognized for their individual contributions and loved hard! They belong. They fit perfectly; HUGE for a teen struggling to put words to their emotions. Security comes through repetition.
  • Traditions impart values. The things we do as a family make a mark on our teens. Where we spend our $$, time and energy or talents, place value and make a mark on our teens value system.
  • Traditions are FUN. Teens still love Easter baskets, birthday songs, photo ops and special dinner plates. Their hearts are wrapped around these fun moments knowing that life is getting harder, but here, in this warm place called home, they know family and fun still live strong.

Share some of your favorite family traditions.... 

xox- susan