You meet someone, fall in love, get married, and have children. Now two people raised in different households have to somehow merge values and traditions into their new family. So what stays and what goes? My husband and I agree easily on the "tough love" approach both of us were raised with: not in our household. My father is Puerto Rican and, thus, very "old school". There are A LOT of family values and ignorance that will not be passed down to our girls.
We talk about most things and have compromised, but there is one thing that gets under my skin and bothers me. Some Hispanic families have this tradition where children are taught to say bendicion to their elders. My husband was raised with it and still does it. I was not and don't care for it. Yet another way to keep children "in-check". He has told me about times when he didn't say bedicion and was ignored. Just 10 mins. ago he was scolded for not saying bendicion to a family member. It's ridiculous, he's a grown man! The meaning of bendicion has been diluted to a tradition that no one can explain. My husband and his family want the girls to say it, and I surely don't.
Why am I against it? I've seen a little girl look like she was about to go into the time-out corner because she forgot to say bendicion and was scolded for it. She doesn't understand what it means. She knows that she is loved and needs to listen to her elders, why can't she say "Hi, I love you!" I will be so upset if someone ignored or scolded my girls because they didn't say bendicion even though they already greeted them with loving delight.
How did we resolve this issue? In my opinion bendicion has biblical ties that have been lost. In those days parents would give lengthy and heartfelt blessings to their children, not just a response "Dios te bendiga". Blessings are prophetic and spoken in faith and with wisdom. Blessings open up the doors of Heaven to Divine favor in one's life. Why would you take all that away from my girls, or any child with just a quick, automated response. After lots of talks with my husband and members of his family (and lots of opposition from me) my husband came up with a good idea. We will teach our girls to say bendicion, but then they will ask for the adult they are talking with to pray for them instead of an automated response. Our girls will be raised in a Christian home and will understand the meaning of prayers and asking for a blessing. We're putting the meaning back into bendicion. We're starting a new tradition. Hopefully we'll lead a few hearts to the Lord as well.