I’m taking a very insightful parenting class with a couple friends. It is a parenting class but I hesitate to refer to it that way because I’ve learned more about being a better person than I have about being a better parent. But I suppose it follows that if I am a better person I will be a better parent.
Anyway, we had a class about the importance of traditions in helping our children feel identity and belonging in the family. I was completely overwhelmed by the number of ideas that were shared but I latched onto a few. From what I took away from the lesson there were three types of traditions I wanted to incorporate in our lives.
1. A family tradition of values. For example “I am a Bird, and that means I am honest, I work hard, and I am kind to everyone.” That is what I came up with, and obviously they are characteristics we strive for, not ones we’ve perfected. (There aren’t any of those.)
2. Daily family traditions. The example in this category that I felt most impressed to live by was “meeting at the crossroads.” Which means to be at the door, whenever possible, for the coming and going of my spouse and children. That’s pretty easy these days since the boys are so young we typically come and go together, but a habit I want to get into nonetheless.
3. Traditions for birthdays, holidays and special occasions. And for this one I chose to start a new tradition that someone shared that I loved. On October 1st each year this mother gives all her children a Halloween pillowcase to put on their pillows for the month. Then of course on Halloween night they use the pillowcase for trick-or-treating. When they return she allows them each to fill a Ziploc bag with their favorite treats and put the rest of the candy back in the pillowcase. MY FAVORITE PART: They place the pillowcases on the front porch on Halloween night and the “Halloween Witch” comes and collects the candy and replaces it with, get this: A NEW BOOK! You can do what you please with the candy, throw it away, give it away in Holiday packaging. As for me it will probably just be my own personal stash of sweets hidden in the dark parts of my closet.
Anyway, my friend Kim helped me sew a couple pillowcases yesterday and the boys seem to be on board so far.
Cheers to traditions!