by Mary Dooley Burns with Caryl Wogenson
Stories passed down from generation to generation make
up your family's special folklore. Perhaps it's difficult to be sure what
is fact or fantasy - family lore is probably a combination. The importance
is not it's authenticity, but it's role in giving your family and you an
A child's individuality grows in many ways, but an
emphasis on heritage is one of the best. When children understand where
they come from, they will have a much better idea of where they want to
go. Each time you continue a family custom or resurrect an ethnic recipe
or use the language from generations past, children are getting a stronger
sense of themselves.
In families with a diverse heritage, custom from each
tradition can be blended and celebrated with a few new ones added too.
- Help families feel unique
- Promote feelings of kinship
- Affirm and validate our place in our own family
Family Traditions and patterns carry messages of family
expectations and codes of conduct passed down from generation to
generation. 'Traditions also spell out tolerances or intolerances of the
family system - largely based upon how strongly the family traditions are
Reevaluating family traditions provides an opportunity
to look at traditional habits and activities which bring a sense of both
history and joy together. Familylore provides a way to "walk" in
familiar and comfortable moments together with thanksgiving and warm
Which Values Are Cherished and Acted on
in Your Family?
- _ time together as a family
- _ achievement in chosen field
- _ learning new skills
- _ extended family
- _ money enough for enjoyment
- _ sharing possessions
- _ conserving resources
- _ fun and play
- _ time with friends
What traditions do you already have and what new
traditions do you want to create around these events?
Traditional holidays: Christmas/Hanukah,
Easter/Passover, Thanksgiving, 4th of July, Valentines Day, St. Patrick's
Private holidays: birthdays, anniversaries, baptism,
confirmation, bar/teas mitzvah, graduation, weddings, funerals, births.
Other: vacations, mealtimes, bedtimes, family play, when
someone is ill, extended family gatherings, first day of school,
Permission is granted by Children Youth and Family
Consortium Electronic Clearinghouse for reprint.