Family rituals are the unwritten laws of the family, reproduced by virtue of habit and belief. what is right. Every family has its own rituals – these are trifles that are always done and about which no one is discussing whether this should be done or not. This includes such trifles as greetings and goodbyes, swelling at the entrance to the apartment, washing hands before eating, brushing your teeth, fastening in a car, etc.
Family rituals are observed only if all family members perform them. For example, you can teach your son to sit in the toilet only if the father does it. Or “every morning will begin with a healthy breakfast” – it won’t become a ritual if you yourself walk in the mornings with a cup of coffee and a cigarette in your mouth.
Good and bad family rituals
Not all rituals are good. Many people repeat after their parents: “Take your elbows off the table!” “They don’t talk over food!” “Children should be silent when adults are talking.” Even beating a fined child was a ritual in many families.
Good only those rituals that help community and mutual support. Examples of good rituals:
Good morning – and kiss!
General meal. If possible, it is very good to gather at a common table once a day – and to eat and talk! If everyone makes his own sandwich, everyone warms up individually in the microwave, and dinner passes in front of the TV, the community disappears.
A family evening ritual. It’s great when a family has such a regular evening ritual: always at the same time, always the same way. It ends with a general game or a fairy tale, a child can rely on a good end of the day and rejoice in anticipation of it. See →
Family responsibilities of the child. Small responsibilities that are feasible for a child can also be a ritual. Covering the bed, unloading dishes from the dishwasher. It is best that this be a permanent task at the same time.
Time only for the baby
Preschoolers are very fond of rituals. It is important for them to know what, when and in what sequence will occur see →. First I watch Goodnight, Kids, then I go for a swim, then I put on my pajamas, my mother brings me milk, I hug a bear, my mother covers me and kisses me. Everything is good, everything is as always, you can sleep. But if suddenly the bear touches somewhere or the mother speaks on the phone and still doesn’t go kissing – the guard. The child cannot fall asleep, spins, cries, toils. These are not whims – he is really bad. Smart parents know that it is useless to shame and exhort – it’s easier to turn on the light, declare a family rush and find a bear.
It should be noted that ritual behavior in older children and adults can be cause for concern (see →), while in preschool age it is completely normal.
Here are examples of such rituals in children:
drink (or eat) only from your favorite cup (from your favorite plate)
the child refuses to throw away old shoes that are already small, even if you bought him new ones
desire to listen to the same tale many times
desire to watch the same cartoon many times
The rituals of meeting and parting are especially important. This will come in handy when the kid goes to kindergarten or school. A special kiss or handshake, high five (greeting with hands or fists), tickling, winking, etc. In unfamiliar situations, rituals help to overcome stress. If your daughter or your son likes to read books at night, be sure to grab the book when you fly by plane to another country or spend the night in a hotel or at a guest.
Rituals help family members feel like family. In every family, whatever it is – extended or nuclear, ordinary or large, and even Swedish – there are “jokes”, customs, traditions. Rituals strengthen family values, unite the family, especially in unstable times.