Fun Fam­ily Tra­di­tions to Start Now

The key to a close-knit fam: a reper­toire of ri­tu­als your kids will tell their kids about. Adopt these ideas, or get in­spired to make up your own.

Parents (USA) - - Contents - by MICHELLE CROUCH / il­lus­tra­tions by BI­JOU KARMAN

From se­cret hand­shakes to silly bed­time rou­tines, these spe­cial ri­tu­als will in­spire you to bond your crew to­gether. You may do them for years to come.

WHEN OUR FAM­ILY shares good news or an ac­com­plish­ment at the din­ner table—like the time my daugh­ter, Rosie, told us she sat with a class­mate who was eat­ing lunch alone—we pump our arms and cheer: “Hip hip hooray! Hip hip hooray! Hip hip hooray for Rosie!” And even though she’s 12, she still ap­pre­ci­ates our en­thu­si­asm.

Tra­di­tions like ours are the glue that helps hold fam­i­lies to­gether. From a se­cret hand­shake to Fri­day movie night, these ri­tu­als boost hap­pi­ness, strengthen fam­ily bonds, and pro­vide kids with a strong sense of iden­tity and se­cu­rity, ac­cord­ing to re­search from Syra­cuse Univer­sity. “Par­ents think they need to do some­thing big to make me­mories, when the lit­tle ac­tions and ri­tu­als you do to­gether tend to stick in a child’s mind,” says so­cial psy­chol­o­gist Su­san New­man, PH.D., a mom of five and au­thor of Lit­tle Things Long Re­mem­bered. “It can be as sim­ple as hav­ing ice-cream so­das on Sun­days.” And if that one doesn’t work for you, here are tons more ideas from other fam­i­lies.

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