April 4, 2024

Planted in Tradition: Building Memories at Home

recent report on family time statistics suggests that while 95 percent of American parents value family meals, only 43 percent of these families eat dinner together every day. Almost 40 percent of parents feel screen time has become more of a priority than family time in their households, with nearly three-quarters of parents sensing they spend too little time with their children. 

It’s a big undertaking to raise a family these days; even in the best of circumstances, a family of five may also have five different schedules, five different agendas, and five (at least!) screens competing for attention. So what can parents do to create healthier bonds?  

Growing “Togetherness Touchpoints” 

Family traditions promote myriad benefits: a belief that time spent together is precious, a way to mark special occasions, a commitment to strengthening relationships and belonging, and a time to honor each other and cultural, religious, or societal areas of importance. 

Each family grows to define what’s important to them; thus, traditions can be loose or formal, serious or silly. But all are special: Many of us can recall certain touchpoints in our growing up years that we’ve chosen to carry over to our own families—the practices that strengthened our relationships and solidified our places in each other’s lives and in the world at large. 

Deepen Family Roots 

Here are five easy ways to spend time together building your own traditions—making memories, sharing interests and serving others. 

  1. Get Your Game On: Break out the board games or plug in the consoles. The family that plays together, stays together (not to mention earning bragging rights on a regular basis!).
  2. Get Adventurous: Outdoor activities are not only a great way to bond, they’re a healthful way to spend the day together. Consider hiking, biking, birdwatching…or whatever floats your boat. 
  3. Get Creative: Some families revel in making homemade gifts for holidays; others cook new recipes together, get silly with karaoke, teach a new dance or share other creative pursuits.  
  4. Get Real: A relaxing and insightful way to relate is by playing “high/low” at the dinner table, sharing daily blessings and challenges with each other toward building hope, empathy and connection. 
  5. Get Productive: Volunteering demonstrates a commitment to each other and to the community. Consider discussing and trying a number of opportunities…and then take time to celebrate what you’ve accomplished. 

For even more ideas, check out these lists from Southern LivingVeryWell Family or The EveryMom.