No matter where children are located in the world, the culture that is part of their reality, is a blend of family heritage and where they live. Most importantly, that culture will have an impact on kids. The rhythm of community and country celebrations will become part of them and so will the traditions. As an adult, have you ever been away from home during an important festivity? It feels like something is missing. But it evens out when we visit another country and get to experience a celebration that is new to us.
When children are young, traditions may not be understood, but they often have a wealth of sensory details, with colors, sounds, music, action, and special foods. There may be undercurrents of emotion that affect the grownups. Traditions may involve an entire country or just families. Some families like a Friday pizza night and others a weekend morning big breakfast. In a family, the traditions grow and change, along with the age of the kids.
The month of May has some important traditions in North America. The third Monday in May is Queen Victoria’s birthday in Canada, and the last Monday is Memorial Day in the United States. Unofficially, these two long weekends are a sort of kick-off to summer and families often travel and get together. In both cases, there is a longer tradition, of service and recognition. Memorial Day asks us to remember those who have given their lives in military service.
Traditions provide a structure and stability for those living in any country, kids and grownups. This weekend, think about the traditions that surround your family, especially your child. What is appropriate for kids? Best of all, participate together.