Tradition, as defined in the dictionary, is “a continuing pattern of cultural practices.” The annual NCAA college basketball tournament is an American tradition that has been around since the late 1930s. Held in March, hence the nickname, “March Madness,” it has become a staple amongst the annual sporting events held in the US. And not to mention, it’s one of the most competitive.

In a nutshell, the tournament consists of 68 Division I college/university teams; each eliminating the other in different rounds until only one school is left and dubbed the “champion.” The term “March Madness” stems from both the month in which the tournament takes place in, as well as the “madness” surrounding the simultaneous games aired on TV. What is truly outstanding about this is the fact that school and team pride is at a high point this time of year. I personally attended a Division I university whose basketball team has a great reputation for actively participating in the NCAA tournament. What I found to be great about March Madness, as a student, is that it brings the student body, professors and families together.

To our Smiley360 community, I’m sure family and family time is important to you all. And to those with kids who are attending college, this month is a perfect way to re-connect with them while they are away at school. It’s also a great bonding tool as you help cheer them and their school on throughout the tournament. And even if your child’s school isn’t a March Madness participant, they are most likely rooting for another school’s team. What can make it interesting is if the parent’s favorite team is a rival of their child’s school team! Either way, whether you’re showing support for your son or daughter’s school or having a friendly team rivalry, the connection you have with your child is incomparable.

For Mommy and Daddy blogs, how are you getting involved? Are you creating posts that are centered on your kid’s college team (if they are participating in the tournament)? If so, utilizing your blogs and social networks is a great way to show support for your son or daughter; as well as show some school spirit. The “cool” factor also comes into play here as well. Staying relevant and displaying interest will show your child that you’re up to date with what’s going on in their life. Your post will not only make for quality content on your blog but it will also spark discussion amongst your readers; as I’m sure they can relate if they have a child in college as well. For those with younger children, March Madness is still great, especially if your kid is a fan of basketball or plays basketball themselves. Watching the games together can be an opportunity for parents to talk with their kids about the game, how to improve their skills, teach the value of sportsmanship, and more.

As hectic as the name suggests it to be, March Madness can be an enjoyable period for families. Utilize this time wisely with your kids, whether they are away for college, a fan of the sport or an aspiring basketball player, they’ll greatly appreciate it.