Blowing a kiss goodnight from the doorway back and forth. You wash. I dry. The same Disney vacation every summer. Eating dinner together; dad always making breakfast.
Grandma's house for dinner on Sundays. Always opening stockings first on Christmas morning.
These are some of the routines and rituals we have in our family. Rituals are so important in families, especially to kids. Rituals provide a way for families to make it successfully through all the demands of daily life. They provide stability in a family and help them to be able to cope with change. Routines and rituals help bring families together and stay together. I have been thinking about rituals in my family and being intentional about creating them. Something the kids can count on, and as parents, we can too. Routines are little tangible things that are repeated over time. Like making smoothies in the morning or a bath and book before bedtime. If they got taken away, it wouldn't change much or have any real impact on our family. They are still important though, and give me some organization and balance in our daily lives. Rituals are more meaningful, and not part of our everyday routines. If taken away, they would be hard on the family and relationships. Some special rituals in our family are going for ice-cream after any doctor or dentist's appointments, pizza and a movie on Friday nights, going to Arizona with my parents once a year. Christmas traditions, homemade chicken noodle soup on Halloween before trick-or-treating are some of our special rituals. I love these rituals with my family. I love that we have something to look forward to, something that is familiar but also special. Also something that I don't have to worry about; I know on Friday's we will make or grab pizza, pop popcorn, and watch a movie all while spending quality time with my family. If I am having a hard time with something, if our family is going through any sort of trial, these rituals help us cope and provide familiarity and stability. As the Thanksgiving and Christmas season approach, I have had a fun time thinking of new traditions and rituals I want to start as a family. My friend had this tradition that on the first big white-out snow of the year, they would wake up and go out for a big breakfast as a family, and that is something I am going to start with our family.
When we look back at our childhood and family life, I know we all remember these special unique rituals we did together as a family. Even if it something as simple as Taco Tuesday, it can create lasting memories and meaning for your children.
What are some of your favorite rituals you did or do as a family?