The Importance of Developing and Maintaining Family Traditions

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    The Importance of Developing and Maintaining Family Traditions

    I found myself deep in thought one day, with my OCD mind unpacking some of the family traditions I’d been subjected to growing up, many of which I must say I successfully managed to get out of honouring. What these thoughts led to was the formulation of the opinion that family traditions shouldn’t really be passed down from generation to generation, but should rather be developed generationally, contributed to by each of the family members who are actually going to be subjected to them.

    Look, I fully understand that some family traditions and some traditions at large are developed and adopted based on a specific need, such as perhaps all sitting around the dinner table so that you can catch up on what’s going on in each others’ lives — those are fine in my book, but those traditions which are perpetuated just because “that’s how it’s always been” should be revisited and perhaps be done away with completely, adapted, overhauled or updated.

    Ultimately though it is still very important to develop and maintain family traditions because these make for the glue that holds families together and God knows in this day and age a lot of people would give so much just to be able to say they’re part of anything close to what resembles a functional family. I refer back to the daily family dinner-table tradition — this might not be all too pleasant for some of the family members, whatever the reason, but trust me, these are just some of the things many other people who are all alone in this world miss if they were ever fortunate enough to experience them in the first place.

    Okay, so I’m against the passing down and blind adoption of old family traditions which are perpetuated just because-, but I’m okay with those that take the form of the daily dinner-table “meeting,” yet at the same time I believe family traditions should be developed generationally? No, not obsessive compulsive at all…

    Hear me out a bit…

    All I’m really suggesting is that new family traditions should develop around what each family member has to contribute and shouldn’t just be shoved down their throats as they are, having been developed decades and decades ago. You might all prefer to eat your dinner while watching television, so how about making dinner time in front of the telly the ideal time during which to catch up on each others’ lives?

    Perhaps one or more of you love to go fishing — why not invite everybody along every so often, making it clear that their presence would really mean a lot to you, to a fishing trip on which you perhaps catch your own lunch and prepare it riverside, just for example?

    The point is that family traditions are very important and should be maintained, but the best of these are those which are developed around the characters of each of your family members, taking into account the uniqueness each of them possesses. That, in my opinion, 066is one of the best ways through which to maintain a strong family bond.

    Written by Jenson Phillips

    Hi, I’m Jenson. Father of two and living with OCD, read my musings on coping with both and maybe pick up some advice for yourself.