Saturday, July 16, 2011

Family Rituals 2

Of course, healthy family rituals do not have to be associated with religious occasions or ones faith. But they should reflect your personal beliefs and what you feel is important.

Here is another quotation from Mary Grant's ‘Cappuccino Moments for Mothers’

There is little chance that your child will remember all the things you did for her while she was growing up, but she will remember how it felt growing up as your child. She will receive emotional nourishment from the atmosphere, the fun, the routines, the celebrations and the outings’

Family rituals help to create the atmosphere in our homes.  They foster  fun,  festivities,  routines,  closeness and  spiritual awareness.
Rituals can be simple regular weekly events. On Sunday mornings my husband makes pancakes for breakfast – he has done so for as long as the kids can remember. We are never allowed to change the menu; Sunday morning would not be Sunday morning without them!
Or they can be linked to certain times and events.  We are just about to move from Cebu in the Philippines to Hampshire in England. We have moved countries before as a family and we have a ritual that helps us to process the gains and the losses in our transition. A few weeks before we leave we make four posters entitled:

  • What we will miss about  … country we are leaving
  • What we won’t miss about ….. country we are leaving
  • What we are looking forward to in ….country moving to
  • What we are not looking forward to in….country we are moving to

They are hung up on the wall and can be added to as we think of things during our final weeks.  Yesterday I went to get a haircut and realised that this is something I will miss in England. In Asia they really know how to help you relax and feel special with massages, tea, manicures and pedicures in an unhurried atmosphere and all for under 10 quid!

I have found that rituals help in times of transition and I am sure they can help at other times of family stress too.

Please share your own experiences with me and leave a comment – I am keen to hear from you.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Family Ritual.


 In the conclusion to her  book 'Cappuccino Moments for Mothers' New Zealand writer and 'parenting expert', Mary Grant, says

' When your home offers healthy family rituals and traditions and mixes them with fun, you give your children the roots that will nourish them for the rest of their lives.'

I believe this too. Ritual is very important to children; it  gives them a sense of security and safety and creates  reliability that children appreciate. They like it when things always happen in the same way.  As Christian parents we have an incredible opportunity to develop rituals that put roots down into the soil of hope and true love. In forming our family rituals around the liturgical year , the biblical stories of Jesus, it is my desire to give our children far more than self esteem and a sense of identity, although that is partly what they gain. We also teach them the stories that can evolve and  transform  them into the persons they are intended to be. This is my prayer and my intention when we celebrate the life story of Jesus over and over each year with rituals that are fun as well as life changing.