Traditions are powerful. They can ground and connect individuals by providing a routine and sense of purpose. Personally, I believe the best traditions are rooted in deep relationships. I was reminded of this last weekend when I took a break from posting and sang with family and friends at the 75th reunion of the Centenary College Choir in Shreveport, LA.
My wife and I met in the choir in the 80s. My wifes parents met in the choir in the 50s. My oldest son, Matthieu, is choir president this year. And Micah, his younger brother, was in the choir last year. Of course, the whole weekend was spent retelling stories and connecting with friends, some of which we hadnt seen in 25+ years. It was amazing to see how many traditions started 70 years ago still remain strong. Happy memories. Happy associations.
As we enter the final two months of 2016, remember traditions can have a huge impact on behavior. Though holiday traditions anchor happy associations for many, they can also create negative overtones for some due to both the absence of traditions, as well as past traumatic events. Consistent routines and traditions can go a long way in quelling challenging behaviors, and unfortunately, the classroom may be the only place they are afforded to some of our most at-risk students.