Here we are at Easter, a season rich in tradition and a timely moment to press pause and have some downtime as a family. Which got us thinking about the value of family rituals and the long list of profound benefits that family traditions offer our kids. Benefits like a sense of security, identity and belonging can be found in even the simplest of family traditions. I (Ellie) remember that the Easter break would reliably feature hot cross buns, church and chocolate, but also a ride on the tractor to the back of the farm to load firewood onto the trailer with my brothers. My parents might not have realised it at the time, but being a part of ‘team firewood’ spoke loudly into my sense of belonging, almost as much as the faith and food components of the long weekend.
Family traditions are powerful because they shine a spotlight on togetherness and celebration. They create positive feelings and shared memories in kids and grown-up family members alike, enhancing a sense of ‘this is who we are and this is what we do’. They also strengthen family values and help us pass these values on to our children. And while rituals and traditions look different for every whānau, we hope the following reflections from Parenting Place staff members spark joy and perhaps even some inspiration in your whare.