Family rituals are a great way to put routine into your child's life. They also create some the best bonding moments and memories for your family. Here are some opportunities to create these special occasions.
You probably had many family rituals when you were a child. Think back to some of your favorite memories. While you cannot recreate those memories in exactly the same way, use them as inspiration for making your own family memories. Take your children to some of your favorite places. Bring out family heirlooms for decorating at the holidays.
Whenever someone achieves a special milestone, no matter how small it seems to be, have a big family celebration. This does not require going out and spending a lot of money. Make that person's favorite dinner. Let that person decide which board games to play, books to read, or movies to watch. Decorate the dinner table in a special way. Have the special person wear a homemade crown. The possibilities are endless.
Even the silliest games and songs can stick with your children, long after they have left home. For example, when I was a child, my father used to play a game called, "Raggedy Ann, Your Clock Struck Again!" It was simple, yet funny, and caused belly laughs in all of us. To this day, we still laugh about it, even though we quit playing it by the time I was in kindergarten. Make a routine of singing certain songs, reading certain books, or simply gathering together in the family bed to cuddle and talk about your day. The physical warmth will lead to emotional warmth.
Holiday rituals can be passed down from generation to generation, and spun to create your own special memories. Use certain foods for each holiday, and make a ritual out of the preparation. Make a ritual out of making homemade decorations. Play certain music while decorating the house.
Spend some time researching rituals of other cultures, such as the Native Americans. Identify the ones that appeal the most to you and your family. Try to implement them into your family life. Take a look at the rituals of other friends who have different religious beliefs or are from different cultures. Invite them to share with you. Not only will you create your own family memories, but you will add to the memories of others.
The ideas in this article are based upon suggestions in Calm and Compassionate Children: A Handbook by Susan Usha Dermond (ISBN 978-1-58761-276-3)
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