Our family has a lot of fun little traditions that help us grow closer together. In this post we’re going to share five of those with you.
Tradition 1: Happy and Sad Parts
Every night at dinner our family shares with each other the things we did that day and then each person chooses one “happy part” and one “sad part” from the day. For example, Junior’s happy part today was that his friends came over and he didn’t have a sad part (he never does). My happy part today was that I won my basketball game and my sad part was that I was tired due to a middle of the night screaming child.
We love this tradition because it’s a great way to find out about our kid’s lives and to see how they’re feeling about our family and life in general. We’re also hoping that by training our kids to talk about feelings, they open up to us about their lives when they’re teenagers.
Tradition 2: Family Council
On Sunday night we have a family council where we discuss upcoming events and family business. We do family council with the kids so they feel involved in the planning of our lives and so we can get their input. Addy’s family business is often, “I love our whole family” and Junior usually proposes going out to get ice cream. While the kid’s contributions typically aren’t that earth shattering at this point, it’s important for them to have a time and a place to voice their opinion about how things run in our family.
The highlight of family council is at the end when we each share one specific thing we like about each member in our family, usually involving something we did together that week. For example, this week when talking about Addy, I’ll say, “I like Addy because she has pink and purple sparkly finger nails.” About Junior, I’ll say, “I like Junior because he helped shovel the driveway.” About Sam, I’ll say, “I like Sam because she tried two new recipes this week and they were both delicious.”
We love doing “What We Like About Each Other” because it gives the kids practice giving sincere compliments and expressing gratitude for kind things other people have done for them. Also, it ensures the kids say at least one nice thing to each other each week.
Tradition 3: Family Night
Every Monday we have a mini in-home Sunday school class. We sing church songs, say prayers, read scriptures, and have a gospel related lesson. Everyone in our family is responsible for doing something at family night. We use a chart hanging in our house to keep track of assignments.
The kids typically choose the music and say prayers. As Junior and Addy have gotten older, we’ve also involved them in planning and teaching lessons. Family night is huge for our family because it allows us to share our relationship with God with our kids while encouraging them to develop their own relationship with Him.
Tradition 4: Lunch at Daddy’s Work
Every other Friday, the whole family comes to my workplace to each lunch. We each get something from the cafeteria: I get a grilled chicken sandwich with sweet potato fries, the kids both get chicken fingers and fries, and Sam gets a salad.
The kids think it’s so cool to come to Daddy’s work. Junior is especially jazzed about it. He often says that he’s planning on becoming a “laser worker” just like his dad.
Tradition 5: Pizza/Movie Night
Every Saturday night is pizza and movie night. At our house we don’t watch TV (we’ll tell you why in a later post), we rarely watch movies, and we’re teetering on the edge of being health nuts (me more than anyone else). Sam originally proposed pizza/movie night as a special night each week where we change up the family norms just enough to add some extra fun. After realizing that kids can only take so many quinoa and vegetable dinners, I agreed to the idea a few months ago and we’ve been doing it ever since. The kids love it and I imagine this will be a tradition for many years to come.
Hopefully our family’s experiences might inspire your family to adopt some of the traditions that we love so much. Or, maybe you’ll start some traditions of your own. If you have a fun family tradition that you think we should try, tell us in the comment section.