kids grow into teens and your teens begin maturing into young
adults, the way your family celebrates special days is bound to
change. When the kids were little, I'm sure you had definite
plans and traditions when celebrating Christmas and New Years
along with a host of other special days. But what do you do when
your little ones aren't so little anymore?
My teens range from 13 - 17 and since my youngest has entered
the teenage years, I'm really beginning to find that we need to
modify our family traditions. Customs that used to be
wonderfully fun just don't seem to be working for us anymore.
This really hit home for me this holiday season. Every Advent we
use an Advent wreath and devotional in our daily family worship
and my kids have always enjoyed being the "honored"
one who got to light the candles for the day. The same with our
Advent calendar. My kids used to practically fight over who
would get to read the selection for the day found in the pocket
of the calendar.
This year, however, it was different. No one seemed to care who
lit the candles or who got the "goodie" out of the
Advent calendar for the day.
Many days went by where no one even looked in the calendar
pocket. And as far as the Advent wreath & devotions, my
oldest asked me this year, "Do we have to use that same old
book again? We've used it ever since I can remember."
*Sigh* What's a parent of teens to do? Should we let go of the
traditions that were so meaningful when our kids were little or
should we hold on to them with all our might? Maybe it is time
to examine our family traditions and review them in light our
current family structure. It might be best to let go some of the
old and welcome some new family traditions.
With Christmas over and the New Year just beginning, I've
decided that I really need to talk to my kids about our family
traditions and the way we celebrate holidays together. They are
young adults and I really want their opinions. If changes need
to be made, we will make them. If some traditions are out-dated
or too "young" for them, we will shelve them for a
future date, when they have young families of their own. Some
traditions, I'm sure, will be "keepers" and we will
relish in those as well as add new traditions that will meet the
needs of our growing family.
I can be sad right now as I ponder our "Family
Meeting" that will take place this month to discuss how we
should change the way we celebrate. Or I can find joy in the
fact the my kids are growing into fine young men and women who
will, before long, be having families of their own and
developing their own family traditions. I choose to enter this
phase of our family life with joy.