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Start Your Own Family Traditions

In these days of far-flung families and busy schedules, traditions sometimes get left behind. Here, 10 rituals that can help bring families together.
family camping How to Get Started

My kids never loved camping the way I do. I practically had to force them at gunpoint to get them to go. But now, we've adopted a new twist on camping called geocaching, which involves using a GPS to find little treasures hidden by other geocache enthusiasts. We've discovered little places we would otherwise not know existed while on our camping trips, and it's an adventure we now enjoy together. A new family tradition is born!

Finding these new ways to bond with your family is particularly important today because we live "in an age where we are growing 'super children' with sports and activities taking precedence over family time," says family therapist Laura Doerflinger, M.S., LMHC, of Kirkland, Washington. "It's important to create rituals and make family time together a priority. These activities aren't just for fun. They work to keep the family bonded during crucial developmental stages in kids' lives," she says. Holiday traditions, she notes, also aid in "giving each family its own unique identity, based on family history, heritage, and religion."