What are family rituals?
Family rituals are highly beneficial, they are a great way to deepen your connection and bring harmony to your family. Your family rituals may be actions that only your family understands such as weird handshakes and code words for certain things and special names for certain situations. Rituals provide us with the opportunity to say, ‘this is our thing, this is who we are and what we value’. There are so many different kinds of rituals that you can choose from. You might not even realise that you have rituals, but even a special song at bath time is a ritual. You may have some rituals that might be done while celebrating special days of the year like birthdays, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, Halloween or Australia day. A ritual could also involve sharing a common interest with your family, for example, your family may love watching a family snuggled up on the sofa with delicious snacks to share.
Why are they important?
Family rituals have great benefits to all members of the family. Family rituals give you and your children a sense of belonging, security and identity. This is simply because they are unique to your family, things you do together thus having a special meaning for you all. As the rituals are experienced, they create memories and build family bonds through a deeper connection.
Some rituals also help comfort some children in some situations. For instance, your child may find it easier to settle to sleep by having a ritual such as reading a bedtime story under some dim lights or even sharing some gratitude moments for the day. These kinds of rituals can provide the anchor that young people may need to feel that the world is a safe and predictable place. Rituals also make it easier for the parents in regards to decision making. Once a ritual becomes set for a family it eases the decision-making responsibilities that parents have. They also create moments of being present with one another, present in the moment with no distractions and interruptions.
Technology has come a long way and with all the benefits it has brought into our lives it has also brought in some disadvantages too. Family time is crucial in creating strong bonds, healthy attachments and beliefs for later in life. Having rituals where you spend time together connecting with each other away from technology has many benefits for the mind and body. When you and your family are connected, the rest of the world with all its challenges becomes much easier to deal with.
Young people learn how to interact and be with others by watching their parents and the people around them in their environment. They watch us every day, our behaviour models to them how to treat people, how to raise kids, how to manage and react to situations, communicating and how to solve problems. Family rituals that involve games also teach young people many valuable skills such as concentration, memory, critical thinking skills, spatial awareness, mental maths, teamwork, fair play and how to be a good loser.
How to go about your rituals
When placing our rituals into our life just like anything else important in your life, you need to write them down on your calendar. It is important to be committed and dedicated, they need to be locked in and non-negotiable for any interruptions. There is no right answer for
scheduling these into your family planner. Do what works for your family and you may need to experiment and see how things work.
“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”
We have a special for our readers – 20 great rituals to bring connection and harmony to your family.
Written by one of our awesome facilitators Ozlem Mehmet-Radji
Ozlem Mehmet-Radji is passionate and committed to contributing to young people in a variety of ways. She is a workshop facilitator for Stride leading resilience-based programs in schools across Melbourne. She works as a consultant leading health and well-being workshops. She is dedicated to having all young people thrive in loving and conscious environments. Spending time with her daughter in nature, playing games and going on an adventure brings her joy. She is light-hearted and loves reading, writing and researching. She also loves eating edamame, okra and dark chocolate.