With the start of a new school year, one can almost anticipate the return of old tensions (“is your homework done?”, “it’s time for bed!”, etc). Knowing that wear and tear on our relationships with our kids lie ahead, it’s a good time to think about strengthening that fabric. One of the best things we’ve got going for us is traditions. Traditions remind us of good times in the past and offer us the possibility of fun in the future.
Some traditions require quite a lot of effort and expense. The picture above features a mom and son pair who plan a trip for just the two of them each summer. His choice this year was Venice Beach, CA. But traditions can also be more modest, for example the dad I know who takes one child out for Saturday breakfast each week. Then again, there’s a mom whose tradition is after-dinner walks with her son most every night. The key feature of each of these traditions is connection and time set aside. Which reminds me of that adage, “You know how kids spell love? T-I-M-E.”
My sons and I have stumbled upon a sort-of-tradition in which they help me keep fit. On a sorching Dallas morning, one son recently took me on an 18-mile bike ride. The next week, visiting the other son, we took a bike adventure from San Francisco harbor, to Sausalito, over the Golden Gate Bridge. Both outings were built on years of expeditions. . . a tradition of mom and kid creating time to be together just for the fun of it!
This fall, as your family’s pace begins to pick up,
don’t forget to save a spot for traditions.