I asked a preschooler, “Do you have tradition for your thanksgiving dinner?” He looked at me and said, “I eat turkey for thanksgiving dinner. “Tradition” does not really sound like something my mom can cook in the oven.”
Even for preschoolers, traditions and rituals sound like something that are hard to do. They also make you want to stay away from Pintrest. On Pintrest you can find recipes for homemade rolls that you put little pieces of paper in to pull out things you are thankful for. You find ways to use a Halloween pumpkin and turn it into a Thanksgiving center piece. You find table cloths that are pulled out each year as family members add new things they are grateful for. There are ideas for creating trees with falling leaves that will help children document things in their life they are grateful for. All these ideas are wonderful, but busy parents don’t have to be elaborate to still be impactful.
In reality, traditions are a secret weapon against children later having issues with anxiety, self-worth, a sense of belonging and connectivity. Traditions can offer peace, confidence deeper levels of trust, comfort and security. . There is no where that it says a tradition must be hard and complicated to actually be successful. All a tradition has to do to stick is to be personal and have a purpose.
Today I got to challenge a group of mothers to look at their families and choose a tradition they would either like to continue or one to start. These mothers all loved their children. These mothers were also cohesively overwhelmed with having to do bigger, better, faster and more unique things than others. We walked away knowing that none of us will ever be related to Martha Stewart, and that can be a good thing. A snuggle time morning ritual or a fun pancake breakfast with Dad or a sleep in Sunday can do more for a soul than Martha’s homemade pie recipe with a crust that has dough cut out in the shapes of leaves around the edge.
- Is there a tradition you remember having as a child?
- What things would you like to pass on to another generation?
- This Thanksgiving, will you try something that is meaningful enough that you may want to try it again next year?
“I have the best memories as a kid eating ice cream. It was a family tradition that I had with my father. It was nice.”
Michael Strahan (Former NFL player for the NY Giants)
“Nice” does not have to be complicated…..Anyone for the start of an ice cream tradition?