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Traditions and Strengthening Family Bonds

written by Laura Dabney, M.D. August 25, 2020
Traditions and Strengthening Family Bonds

Let’s discuss traditions! I love the idea of traditions because it’s connecting this generation with past generations and creating family bonds. It’s especially touching when you’re connecting your children with past family members who are no longer here. Traditions are very moving and a great idea. So, where do people go wrong with traditions?

Being too Rigid

For starters, some people get a little too rigid. Some people have their traditions, and it has to be the same every single time. Being this way takes the spirit out of the whole thing. It can make the people that you do the tradition with feel boxed in or forced, and that is not going to encourage them to carry on the tradition.

The key is to be flexible. Don’t panic; you can always explain how it used to be and then go along with a new idea.

It’s All About Passing on the Tradition

Don’t forget that it’s about passing it onto the next generation. With future generations, you want to get their buy-in; you can make it simple, and even break it into parts. Some traditions are quite elaborate, so try breaking it up into a part that the younger generation can do and a part that the older generation can do. By breaking it up this way, it can all come together like a beautiful orchestra.

This will create fonder memories and will make it easier to be carried on.

Don’t Panic

If your family members want to drop the tradition, don’t panic. Remember, the goal of teenagers and young adults is to separate from you, which is healthy. Sometimes, separating means letting go of the past to create new things themselves. They may want to feel like they’re creating their own identity, their own adult life. It’s Okay! 9 out of 10 times, a lot of those traditions will come back, especially when they have kids.

You can always reintroduce it one, two, or five years down the road. Please don’t make a tradition be a forced thing and ruin it for everybody going forward.

It’s okay to change it; it’s okay to drop it for a while; it’s okay to adopt the traditions of other family members; be flexible! Who knows what will come up, it can be something even better.

Watch the video here.

Do you have any questions? Text or call us anytime at 757-340-8800.

Dr. Laura Dabney

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