SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – As the holidays inch closer, most of us are getting ready for annual family holiday traditions. Parenting expert and journalist Donna Tetreault speaks with ABC4’s Emily Clark about the joy of starting new holiday traditions with your children.
Traditions give us a sense of comfort, familiarity, and predictability, so sometimes changing things up can be a bit uncomfortable at first. But just because something has always been done a certain way, doesn’t mean it needs to continue forever, especially if it doesn’t serve your family like it used to.
So what can families do to introduce new holiday traditions with ease?
“You have to think of these traditions and think about ‘Are these working for us anymore?’”
Whether it’s a family change, children or relatives moving out, or maybe even lifestyle changes, change is a constant of life and extending that to traditions is a natural thing.
“People are changing, people are evolving, so sometimes a tradition just doesn’t work anymore,” says Tetreault. “It doesn’t provide that initial joy that it brought into the family. Instead, it’s providing stress.”
It’s important to be easy on yourself and take things one step at a time. Perhaps some people may be disappointed with the changes, but what’s most important is not disappointing yourself.
The most exciting part about change is starting new traditions. Involving your children and loved ones is the easiest first step.
“I love getting my boys involved and creating these new traditions,” says Tetreault. “It really does give them ownership and input into what this family is evolving into. Family doesn’t stay static — traditions don’t have to stay static.”
A new tradition can actually bring much-needed clarity to your family and allow you to focus on what really matters to you and your children.
Don’t place pressure on keeping things the same — it can be really fun and refreshing to explore new traditions and ways to celebrate.
To check out the full conversation, watch the video above.