Parenting

Ep 164. Family Tradition Ideas to Cultivate Closeness

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I'm Ashley!

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Family closeness is proven to offer emotional support, reduce stress and enhance mental health, while also providing a strong sense of belonging, identity and resilience for both parents, and children.

Additionally, family closeness fosters effective communication, conflict resolution skills and better physical health, contributing to overall well being and more happy family members.

I mean, we all intuitively know these things, right? And we all want them. But what can we do to really cultivate this closeness?

In episode 164, I share so many unique family tradition ideas, some of which you may have heard of, but I’m thinking a lot of them maybe you haven’t implemented before.

This Week’s Voxer Question: What is the biggest thing holding you back when it comes to implementing family traditions?

I truly believe that as a mom and as a photographer, it’s really vital that we are helping our family understand what it means to be a family.

We live in such a hurried society where it’s almost a badge of honor to be busy.

I really want to kind of pull back the curtain and encourage you to slow down and enjoy the moments with your family and create this family dynamic in which your kids feel safe. They feel seen. They feel valued. They feel heard and they feel loved.

Some of these ideas are holiday related, while others are not.

Idea #1: Sweet Saturday

My sister and I started this a while ago, and essentially what we do is we get together with our mom and a sweet Saturday is a time for us to bake cookies, or make fudge or some kind of dessert sweet that we like to make. And we’ve been doing this for so long. And my daughter and my son look forward to it now.

Idea #2: Monthly Family Breakfast

Here, I’m talking about doing a monthly family breakfast with the people that live outside of your nuclear family. So if your parents live nearby, or your siblings, you can gather and eat breakfast together once a month.

And if your family doesn’t live nearby, you can do this with some of your close friends.

It can be potluck style, an easy pancake breakfast, etc.

Idea #3: Family Yearbook

I did this last year with my kids. And it was partially with my kids and partially by myself. And so I this year want to make it more of a family affair.

My kids helped me go through all of my photos and choose the ones that we wanted to put in our family yearbook. And we made this album on Shutterfly.

I just knew that if I gave myself if I put too much pressure on it, I wouldn’t do that. So what I did was I just put pictures in it, and I kind of organized it by month.

I love it. I look back at it all the time.

For this next year I want to get a memory pocket that Shutterfly offers and add small notes to it to remember the pictures by as well!

Idea #4: Family Time Capsule

So I’ve never done this before, but I think it would be so fun.

And since we’re nearing the end of the year, it would be really fun to write a letter to your future self and have your kiddos do the same thing. And have them write maybe like what they hope the year will look like. Anything that they have that they’re looking forward to in the year, maybe a reflection on the past year, and what their favorite parts were, etc.

You could do this any time of the year for a fun activity together to open in a later season of life.

Idea #5: Family Talent Show

With this idea, each family member can showcase their talents. So maybe singing, dancing, playing an instrument, performing a skit, etc. I think it would be really fun for the parents to do this too. So not just having the kids share their talents, but also making it a fun family event.

I think so often, we just get into this mindset of being an adult, but having fun with our kids is so important!

Idea #6: Holiday Storybook Countdown

Now again, you can you can alter this and do it anytime. But essentially, what it is, is you are counting down the days to something special.

Let’s say you’re counting down the days for Christmas. And so you wrap and you label a collection of books that are new to your family, and each night you open a new book before bedtime and countdown to Christmas (or any special event).

Idea #7: Party Celebrating Your Family

I think it would be so fun to have a celebration where you celebrate your ‘family day’ almost like your family’s birthday.

I think it would be fun to base it off of your anniversary, and do maybe your ‘half-anniversary’. For example, our anniversary is January 1st, so our ‘half-anniversary’ would be July 1st.

You would just celebrate it as a family and make it a big deal. Put streamers up, get balloons decorate the house, etc. This is your family’s birthday, and you’re celebrating how it started!

Idea #8: Dress-Up Dinner Party

For this idea, essentially, you host a themed dinner party, where your family members dress up according to a specific era, a movie, a fictional character, etc.

It’s just a fun way to combine creativity and have a reason to do something different and do something fun.

Idea #9: Annual Campout In Your Backyard

We all know that camping is fun, but it’s also a ton of work.

But what if you set up a tent in your backyard and you went camping in your backyard?

On this note about sleeping together, I’m thinking of a family sleepover. For example, what if you had a family sleep over the night before Christmas, all of you together? That would be so fun!

Idea #10: Family Date Night

This is a family tradition that I think every single family should participate in. With this, you are making time to go out as a family and do an activity together every single month, or you could do this every single week.

I also think it’s really important to do date nights with your kids one on one as well.

Having one on one time with with a parent for a child is something that is so powerful.

Idea #11: Joy Jar

With this idea, you put a jar on your nightstand and each of your children’s nightstands. And before they go to bed every night, you have them (or they dictate to you and you write it on a piece of paper) tell you something that they were grateful for that day.

And at the end of the week, or at the end of the month, everybody brings their joy jars to the kitchen table, and you read through everything that you are grateful for.

I think that it’s really helpful to have this mindfulness practice as part of your family dynamic. And it just shows your kids how to have gratitude and have a positive perspective.

Idea #12: Compliment Wall

What you do for this idea is you choose a wall or a visible space in your home where you know that your family is going to see it on a regular basis.

Then you set up a little station near this wall with colorful sticky notes, markers, or any kind of like decorative elements, and then you’re going to encourage participation. So let your family know what this wall is for.

It’s going to be a place to share kind words, appreciation,encouragement, compliments for the family, and more.

You could even have a specific section for each family member specifically on the wall.

And then you’re going to periodically gather the family and read all the compliments on the wall. It’s a time to celebrate each other, it’s a time to reflect on the positive impact of our words.

You’re able to, again, really emphasize the importance of sharing positivity and kindness to your family.

And that is something that is just so near and dear to my heart.

Because I want my family to be close. I want my kids to be best friends. And it really does take intentionality to teach our kids how to love one another how to treat one another.

Resources:

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My mission is to help fellow momtogs (mama photographers!) experience success in business and in motherhood. As an Arizona brand photographer for mompreneurs, I’m passionate about capturing authentic images that show off my clients’ unique personalities so they can connect with their ideal clients. And as an online business coach for momtogs, I LIVE for helping mamas experience incredible transformations that help them build a business they love, without sacrificing their precious time with their littles.

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