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kidCLANS #5 Family Traditions: The Fine Line Between Heartwarming and Mildly Traumatic

kidCLANS #5 Family Traditions: The Fine Line Between Heartwarming and Mildly Traumatic

Have YOU ever thought about the Meaning and Purpose of Family Traditions?
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Good morning!

This is your host, Jaime Buckley, and this is the kidCLANS podcast, Episode 5…

The more I watch society encroach upon families, and those trying to live in opposition to countless agenda’s seeking to break us apart, my heart sinks. So many companies *cough DISNEY* …trying to groom our children, twist their minds, give up on values and standards, driving wedges between children and parents.

It’s wrong. I personally don’t care who any of these companies or people are…if you’re trying to pull my kids away from the traditions and values I’m striving to teach them, I’ll fight you.

Funny thing is, I’ll kick your ass by shining a floodlight on your ‘stupid’.

Because parents who explain the meaning and purpose of family traditions to their kids, will expose that same stupid to a Tsunami of value, strength and happiness.

I’ve done it many times with my children, letting them weigh our family against the world.

…and I never get tired of the results.

Have YOU ever thought about the Meaning and Purpose of Family Traditions?

"Family traditions" refer to customs, practices, or rituals that are passed down from generation to generation within a family unit. These traditions play a significant role in shaping family identity, values, and connections.

I’d like to go over five key points that highlight what family traditions entail:

1. Cultural Roots, Heritage and Continuity

Family traditions preserve and transmit cultural heritage, values, and beliefs from one generation to the next. They serve as a means of connecting individuals to their cultural roots and maintaining a sense of belonging.

Family traditions often reflect the ethnic, or religious background of a family. Engaging in these traditions helps members connect with their ancestral roots and heritage.

By understanding and participating in cultural practices, individuals develop a stronger sense of who they are and where they come from, contributing to their overall identity.

Our family has a quite the mix of culture, which includes Irish/English/German, and Samoan. My beloved father-in-law, Moli, spent a great amount of time teaching the children Samoan. The boys looked up to Grandpa, and continue to cling to their Samoan heritage. From foods, to wearing traditional dress lava-lava’s to church every Sunday.

2. Bonding, Connection and Building Stronger Relationships

Engaging in family traditions involves spending quality time together and engaging in activities that promote interaction and communication. These shared moments foster emotional closeness and help family members develop deeper relationships with each other.

Over time, these connections contribute to a stronger sense of unity and belonging within the family.

Engaging in shared family traditions fosters stronger bonds among family members. Participating in activities together, such as holiday celebrations, reunions, or weekly rituals, creates opportunities for meaningful interactions and emotional connections.

For Buckley’s, that usually means food and games. All pour homes are filled with cooks, and fortunately for many guests, food snobs. We loooove food, and when we get together, there’s always something to eat — which is a mesh between the Samoan culture of my wife, and the traditions handed through my father, who owned two restaurants as I was growing up.

There’s often a game being played in our home, even now — and last Christmas, my sons made a custom Hand and Foot box for their mother, filled with enough cards and record supplies to play for years to come with the whole household!

3. Sense of Continuity and Stability Through Rituals and Routines

Family traditions often involve specific rituals or routines that have a consistent and predictable structure. These can include annual holiday gatherings, mealtime prayers, or bedtime stories. Rituals provide a sense of continuity and stability across generations.

It is especially important to create stability and comfort, especially during times of change or uncertainty — our current society being a perfect example of uncertainty.

In a rapidly changing world, these familiar rituals and practices offer a sense of predictability. This stability contributes to a feeling of belonging, as family members know they can always come back to these traditions, regardless of external circumstances. It’s something they can rely on.

A couple years ago, a dear friend, whom I’d known since he was a child, came to visit after being estranged for over a decade. I grabbed him in a bear hug, overwhelmed with joy at seeing him.

When I asked him what made finally come back to see our family, he said "I realized no matter where I was, or what I’d done, if I showed up to the Buckley’s, I’d be loved and accepted for who I was, right here and now. You wouldn’t hold mistakes or bad choices against me. There was no need to be afraid of a closed door, cause that’s just not how you guys do things…and I missed that."

For the last 31 years, we’ve had scripture study and prayers at 7am, every day. At 7pm it’s time for family prayer to end the day.

When my children asked me why we do things that way, I ask them "Why do we eat food?"

"To feed our bodies and make us strong," they answer.

That’s when I’ll hold up my lovingly worn set of scriptures. "God gave us these to feed our spirits, to make us even stronger."

My oldest son, who continues a version of this ritual and tradition told me that when he reads scriptures, he hears my voice in his head.

I hope that’s a good thing.

4. Shared Values, Beliefs and Memories

Through family traditions, values and principles are reinforced and celebrated. These shared experiences contribute to the creation of cherished memories that family members can reflect upon and draw strength from throughout their lives.

Family traditions often revolve around specific values, beliefs, and principles.

A good example for us would be how we interact as a family. Children are required to interact with their parents in a respectful manner, as well as their ‘elders’ (grandma, grandpa, aunts, uncles, even adult guests). My wife and I have explained to our children that there is a measure of respect due to others. That will vary, but manners, most especially to their own parents is the way we behave, and we explain both the benefits and hardships that come with choosing to comply or rebel with this set of values.

It’s amazing to see these same values passed down through generations as my children have married and started their own families. By engaging in these practices, family members reaffirm their commitment to these shared ideals. This reinforcement creates a sense of unity and common purpose, as everyone is working together to uphold and honor the same values.

Family traditions create lasting memories that are unique to the family unit. Whether it's an annual holiday celebration, a special mealtime ritual, or a particular family outing, these shared experiences contribute to a collective memory bank. These memories become a source of nostalgia and connection, reinforcing the family's bond and providing a sense of belonging.

For the Buckley’s, we love Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Candy Week — where four generations from grandma to great-grand-daughters work together to make high-end handmade chocolates and delectables to give away to loved ones.

My own personal love for Candy Week is that my lovely daughters will come visit, bring my grandchildren with them…and the house is filled with song. All day long my daughters will siong with each other.

I love that.

5. Generational Legacy

Family traditions play a crucial role in fostering a sense of identity, unity, and belonging within a family. They bridge the gap between different generations, allowing younger family members to learn about their family's history and older generations to share their experiences and wisdom. This passing down of traditions serves as a legacy that contributes to a sense of continuity and unity.

Family traditions play a pivotal role in shaping a family's sense of identity, unity, and belonging by connecting members to their cultural roots, reinforcing shared values, creating lasting memories, strengthening relationships, and providing a sense of continuity and stability. These traditions serve as a powerful thread that weaves family members together into a cohesive and closely-knit unit.

How to develop powerful family traditions and grow closer together:

• Start Small and Be Consistent: Begin by identifying simple activities or rituals that can be easily integrated into your family's routine. Whether it's a weekly game night, a monthly outdoor adventure, or a daily mealtime conversation, consistency is key. Set a regular schedule for these traditions and make a commitment to prioritize them.

Starting small ensures that the traditions are sustainable and manageable, while consistency helps create a predictable and dependable environment for family bonding.

• Involve Everyone and Encourage Participation: Engage all family members in the process of brainstorming, planning, and executing new traditions. Encourage open discussions where each member can share their ideas and preferences. By involving everyone, you foster a sense of ownership and investment in the traditions. Additionally, make sure that participation is inclusive and flexible, taking into consideration individual interests, ages, and abilities. This approach ensures that every family member feels valued and connected.

TIP: For teens and stubborn kids, incorporate something they enjoy doing or eating. Food can be a great motivator!

• Infuse Meaning and Adaptability: Infuse your family traditions with meaning by tying them to shared values, goals, or milestones. For instance, a tradition of volunteering together can reinforce the value of giving back to the community. While it's important to establish certain elements that make the tradition special, also allow for adaptability over time.

As your family grows and evolves, traditions may need to be adjusted to accommodate changing schedules, interests, or circumstances. That’s OKAY. Being open to adaptation ensures that the traditions remain relevant and enjoyable for everyone.

Remember, the goal of developing powerful family traditions is to create meaningful and lasting connections among family members.

By starting small, involving everyone, and infusing traditions with purpose, your family can embark on a journey of growth, closeness, and shared experiences that strengthen your bonds for years to come.

I hope this helps in your quest to bring your family closer together. It’s done wonders for mine.

Thank you for listening, and if you found value in this material, consider visiting to sign up for our weekly newsletter, and join our community. In fact, I’ll leave you with this question to start our discussion…

DISCUSSION: "Can you recall a cherished family tradition that has left a lasting impact on your life, and how has it shaped your sense of identity and connection within your family?"

Leave a comment

Think about that…and share it in the comments.

Make sure to tell a friend about this podcast,…and I’ll see you next time.

Paid subscribers can comment, access the entire archive of this site, along with other stories, cartoons, exclusive podcast, and every article I’ve ever written. If you aren’t a paid subscriber, you can access the archive for free with a 7-day trial OR earn a paid membership by joining the referral program!

Get 7 day free trial


If you enjoy our content, but don’t want to become a member, consider buying us a coffee to keep us going! Thanks so much!

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