Rituals bring order to family life and make children more secure. Routine creates a comfortable and calming atmosphere, whereas a chaotic lifestyle can be damaging emotionally and physically. Start and end your day with basic rituals to foster trust in your children.
Wake With Gratitude
Give yourself and your children plenty of time to wake up in the morning. Create a ritual such as gently waking your children with a smile, talking to them as they awaken. Use a daily gratitude mantra or affirmation to begin the day on a positive note. If you aren’t sure how to be grateful, or what grateful means, check out this great post: Why Is Gratitude Important.
Share a Morning Meal
Sharing a relaxed morning meal is important. The food is less important than the conversation. Ask each child about their plans and show support for their activities. Children should be made aware of changes in parents’ schedules, such as a business trip. Shared information keeps you connected throughout the day and creates security. For example, a child is secure that their parent will pick them up at a certain time and take them to a certain activity.
Share an Evening Meal
After busy individual days, the family should sit down to an evening meal together at roughly the same time each day. This is a time to catch up on what each person has done during the day and share in each other’s victories and disappointments. Consider having everyone take turns telling about their day, then have a comment period. When the meal is done, the entire family should clean up together, each with a specific chore. This structured but enjoyable time strengthens family connections.
Set Aside Family Time
After the homework is done and children are bathed and ready for bed, take time to do something together. This is the time to discuss any serious issues that may need addressing. For example, if a family member has an addiction or legal problem, this is the time to tackle them. It’s essential that the member dealing with the problem feel safe and not judged, and that each family member is given a chance to participate. After the discussion period, do something to relax and prepare for sleep.
Make Bedtime Relaxing and Fun
Children should be put into their beds the same way every night. A bedtime story and kiss goodnight, or just an assurance they are loved and safe is essential. Parents should save dealing with their own issues until the children are asleep.
Starting your day on a positive note, sharing meals and spending family time together are all significant family rituals. It is crucial that families stay close and are able to discuss important issues. If your family is facing any problems, it is perfectly okay to search for qualified professionals that help families deal with addiction. With open communication and daily rituals, it will make everyone more relaxed and happy, so they can enjoy a healthy lifestyle.
My youngest son, Tre, has been literally *begging* for us to have dinner at the dining room table for months now. We haven't done so simply because the table was not big enough for all four of us along with all the dinner and side dishes. We recently found our leaf for the table and put it in to expand it, and now we have a nice large table to share our family meals at. I'm excited to sit down tonight as a family with all of us at the table, enjoying each other's company instead of staring at the television!
MommysGotItAll I agree! I'm always rushing the kids first thing in the morning – and I know how that screws up MY day, I can only imagine what it does to theirs! So I'm going to try getting them up a little earlier so that they have more time to get the sleepers out of their eyes and the chance to have breakfast at home if they want as well. Most mornings they barely have enough time to dash out the door to catch the bus, let alone grab something to eat.
This is such a good reminder. So many times we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life. I need to start making some of these a priority..specifically the bfast thing. Hubs wakes up super early for work. I don't think myself and Sweet Girl can get up that early. lol