The rediscovery of at-home family traditions

With all the increased time spent at home and a stopped or steep decline in visits to all types of public activities, the pandemic has caused a massive, forced acceleration of changes to our leisure behaviors. One such change, according to research by The Family Room, is a resurgence of family traditions. Not only were families stuck at home and looking for ways to make their life there more enjoyable, but there was also a more profound shift in how parents showed an increased interest in preserving traditions from the past, rituals they did with their parents when they were growing up, or things they did several years ago when their children were younger.

The Family Room found a significant increase during the pandemic in parents' desire to "celebrate, protect and strengthen our family traditions and past." Parents reported a sense of rediscovering the togetherness and bonding that many of the traditions embodied.

Some of these rediscovered traditions include game nights, homemade obstacle courses, Sundae Sundays, charades, and pizza and movie nights.

The new traditions that families enjoy are likely to stick around for many years, long after the pandemic has passed. Research on habit formation has found that how long it takes to form a new habit can vary widely depending on several factors, including the behavior, the person, and the circumstances. The research found it takes anywhere from 18 days to 254 days to form a new habit. For most of the country, the pandemic's at-home behaviors easily exceeded 254 days since the original lockdowns and the closure of most restaurants and location-based entertainment centers (LBEs).

The at-home traditions also pass the tests for a new habit to continue - it needs to bring some benefits, and the constraints of keeping up with the habit need to be low - it is easy to continue. The at-home options are also far more convenient and less costly than out-of-home options.

The resurrected at-home family traditions are sure to become permanent habits for many families. As a result, those families are unlikely to make as many visits to out-of-home dining and entertainment experiences as they previously made pre-pandemic. Many LBE and restaurant experiences that wereattractive in the past will be less relevant and compelling than the newly rediscovered at-home traditional activities families now regularly enjoy.