Guest Blog by Mary Byers
Three years ago, my family started what has now become a ritual. Over spring break, each of my two children gets to plan a day, which includes directing the activities and requesting a favorite meal. On “Mason Day,” he’s in charge. On “Marissa Day,” she’s in charge.
Though it wasn’t my intent to develop a ritual when I first started this activity, it was back at the request of my children a year later. They enjoyed directing the family’s activities and also appreciated having a day “named” after them! I was happy to make it a tradition because of its positive impact. First, our special days insure that we spend time together during vacation. Second, it allows each child to share his or her favorite activity with other members of the family. Third, it teaches my kids that an important part of any relationship requires that sometimes we do things just because it makes someone else happy.
Family rituals are important to the unity of a family. Not only do they reinforce the sense of the family community, they strengthen the relationship between family members, create a shared experience for the family, and produce memories that will last a lifetime. Family rituals can be started at any age and at any time, but they should grow and mature with a family.
Here are some questions to ask as you look at creating your own family rituals:
• What do our kids like to do?
• How can we make our kids feel special about our family?
• What can we do to recognize our family as a unit, and our children individually?
• What family rituals can we adapt and/or pass down from our own families?
Above all, rituals connect us with those we love. Whether it’s going for ice cream each year when school lets out for the summer, or a special kiss you develop to send your children off with each morning as they leave for school, if the activity connects you to your loved ones, you can be sure it will be remembered, and appreciated, for a lifetime.
Author Mary Byer’s books, How to Say No … and Live to Tell About It, The Mother Load and Making Work at Home Work, reflect Mary’s own philosophy of living a life that reflects your priorities. With wit, humor and insightfulness, Mary challenges you to take control of your circumstances, to become more confident in the roles that you play, and to discover new energy for the things that are important to you. For more information about Mary and her books, please visit her website at www.marybyers.com.