New Family Traditions

Hello! This week we are focusing on creating new family traditions once children have left the home. If you’d like to share one of your traditions, we would love to hear from you. You can send your tradition to

Did you have a special tradition with one of your children but it’s hard to do now that they have moved from your home? Not to fret, make a date to video chat with them while performing your tradition or activity that you shared and enjoyed. Take for example carving pumpkins for Halloween, making favorite foods, birthday celebrations, playing a game(Catch Phrase) or travel. Be sure they can see you while you are moving though the activity and encourage them to do the activity at the same time. It can be a truly fun experience. Remember, you are the creator of your rituals and with today’s technology we all can invite those we love to share many experiences with us remotely.

Love the fall? Each year I assemble a festive fall gift box for our family members who live out of state. The box contains items that will remind them of fall in New England. You can use anything that resonates with your family, our includes acorns I’ve collected on walks, mini pumpkins, photos of fall foliage or pressed leaves, Halloween photos of them in their favorite costumes, pumpkin-macadamia bars, apple cider and apple cider donuts. It fills me with a sense of festivity assembling the package that I know our family members truly enjoy.

When children are not at home or families are separated by living long distances from one another, it may be challenging to celebrate birthdays together. Try this, next time you are all together, create a surprise party for your family members. Be sure to invite favorite family and friends, and have some good old fashioned fun with games from their childhood. Games might include cornhole, charades, a water balloon toss, a treasure hunt, egg and spoon race or group Pictionary. You know what they like best. Give yourself some time to have fun generating additional ideas and take time to enjoy the results. The more interactions you can create the greater the opportunities for bonding of family and friends.

Ever find your family in separate counties, states or countries while trying to plan for a holiday or vacation to bring family together ? Is it challenging for everyone to get home or harder for some to travel than others? Begin a new tradition by choosing a holiday location equidistant for all. Get the family involved in choosing a location. It can be fun especially for those who enjoy exploring and new adventures.

Are your children off at college or living in another town? Each time they relocate or begin another year away, create a special day with them to play tourist either in their new town or an interesting one close to them. Do the research, present the different opportunities and let them set the schedule. They may have some things they have been yearning to do already. Your day together might involve a special meal out or a homemade meal made by you, depending on your child’s preferences. Also, include several activities where you know your child already has interest. If they are a sports fan, perhaps attending a game or tour a local sports facility. Do they enjoy the great outdoors, maybe exploring a local trail system or a national park. If they have an, interest in art, history or architecture, embark on a visit to a local museum or architecture tour. There are many fun possibilities. It’s a great bonding opportunity. We recommend you do this one-on-one or as a couple so you can have quality time with your child. Remember to let them set the day and time so it works well with their schedules. Have fun!!

Let your child be the guide: If your child is living in another area that you are unfamiliar with, plan a visit that works with their schedule and ask them if they could share some of their favorite places with you. Give them a month to think about this opportunity. Once they have some ideas give them the option to participate in some or all of the activities with you. If their schedule is limited, head out on your own and explore them separately and later meet up to talk about them. As always, include a good meal out, your treat of course. The goal is to learn more about what your child finds interesting or fun and experience that fun first hand. Share that joy, be in the moment with them and later take some time to recap the highlights of that day though relaxed and easy conversation at a favorite cafe or restaurant.