Play & Learn

Family Rituals You Can Create with Your Kids

ByJanroe CabilesApril 13, 2022
family watching movie
Whether it’s an everyday thing or a special yearly event, a family ritual is that thing you do together. It might be something totally unique or run-of-the-mill, but it’s your thing. It’s importantespecially for kids, to not just feel a sense of shared identity that rituals inspire, but also to feel a sense of belonging and a predictable but comforting consistency. They will soon find out that life can be quite unpredictable, and will take immense comfort from these rituals, or from the memories of doing them. You can recreate family rituals that you had in your own childhood or start some new ones yourself.

Your everyday thing

Look at your daily routine and see what rituals you already have in place. Whether it’s having breakfast together, driving your kids to school, daily bath time for the little ones, or bedtime stories—take note of these things and make them officially a ritual. They tend to be taken for granted when they’re routine. Time flies so fast when you have kids and before you know it these daily occurrences will be no more, and boy will you miss them!

Movie of the week

There are so many movie/entertainment streaming service options these days so why not take advantage of that and make a ritual out of it? Gather the family every weekend night, or even just once a month, and pull out all the stops. You know, popcorn, chips and dip, and maybe a glass of wine for the parents, and watch an exciting show everyone can enjoy. And because you can do this in the comfort of your own home, everyone can wear pajamas!

Power out

As we celebrate or mark socially relevant events nationally or globally each year, why not pick a day that’s important to you and make an event out of it with the kids? During the yearly Earth Hour for instance, you can turn off all the lights at home, power off all the gadgets, and just sit and talk by candlelight. Don’t forget to tell them about the significance of what you’re doing, too, so the ritual becomes a teaching moment as well.

Family night

If Netflix isn’t your thing or you can’t agree on a movie, it can be as simple as sleeping all in one room at least on weekends. The little ones, and even the bigger kids, will enjoy crashing on your bed, and love the security of sleeping with Mama and Papa around. Bring in some floor mattresses or pitch some tents (yes, in your room) for some fun make-believe. If you don’t have tents, bedsheets and pillow forts are up to the task. This is another ritual with a pretty short lifespan, say, a couple of years. So do this now before the kids get big enough to want to only stay in their rooms.

The family that eats together

By making rituals around food, you’re also creating moments that your kids will remember for years to come. What is it about food? If you’re into baking, you can create a “Cookie of the Month” baking ritual. Make a fuss about choosing what cookie to bake together each time. You can also create a few signature family dishes or meals that the whole family will love and have them help you prepare these when they’re old enough. If you don’t cook, it can be as easy as going to your family’s favorite restaurant.

Rituals to share

Don’t forget to include extended family and friends in rituals with your kids when you can. Obviously, these will be people you trust and love hanging out with whether they are neighbors, friends, cousins, etc. Help your kids see the value of creating a strong network of other people beyond your immediate family—a possible support group who will be there for you and your kids when needed and vice versa. Creating rituals first within the family and then with others, is a great way to help your kids grow into secure, confident, and loving adults.
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