Kara Meyer, Ph.D. - Psychology Services
RSS

Delivered by FeedBurner


Recent Posts

MENTAL HEALTH DAY
LETTING GO OF GOALS
FAMILY RITUALS
RESILIENCE
FEELING HAPPY

Most Popular Posts

OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER
ASSERTIVENESS
WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY
MANAGING STRESS
STRESS

Categories

ADHD
Anger
Anxiety
Behavior
Child Psychology
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Communication
Depression
Exposure and Response Prevention
Family
Family Rituals
Goal Setting
Happiness
Homework
Mental Ilness
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Psychology in the News
Resilience
Routines
School Issues
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Stress
Suicide
Teens
Therapy
powered by

My Blog

FAMILY RITUALS

This post is a part of a special series on building resilience in children.

***************************************************************************************

As we know, there are a number of internal qualities that contribute to resilience, including self-confidence, effective problem solving, and more. While it is important for this independence of sorts to develop, it is important not to encourage children to become completely independent. In doing so, they may become isolated, losing their connections to others. The fact of the matter is being interdependent, or able to call upon others and rely on them for support, is healthy and important to developing resilience. This is because having close bonds and connections provides a sense of stability and security.
 
An important place for children to establish connections with others is, of course, the family. When family ties are strong children feel confident, leaving them with a sense of belonging and purpose. Having strong family connections also helps children build healthy relationships with others. Sharing quality time together is an obvious way to strengthen family connection. However, due to the busyness of today’s world, families are often rushed, sharing little time together. And often times, even when families are home together, each person is so wrapped up in their individual interests and pursuits, that it can lead to little attention being given to strengthening the family bond.
 
One way to strengthen the family bond is to develop family rituals. Family rituals are similar to routines in that they are activities carried out repeatedly over time, but they differ in that they carry a symbolic meaning – they represent who a family is together and they are missed when they do no occur. Some examples of family rituals included the following:
 
  • Family Meals: While this can include your daily family meal, it goes beyond that. This would be a meal where you know for sure each family member will be present. It is also special in that maybe it is one you all cook together and while eating it each member shares something they appreciate about another family member.
 
  • Birthdays: Birthdays are a great example of a family ritual in that most families already try to make them special, and they tend to involve important traditions. Think of ways you can make birthdays into a family ritual. Maybe the person’s favorite cake is made or purchased from a local bakery. Perhaps each family member shares their favorite memory of that person from the last year or they are given an album of photos from important events in their life over the last year.
 
  • Family Activity Night: This can be a game or movie night. It can also be centered on a physical activity, such as a family walk, hike, or bike ride. You may also want to make this a time where the family volunteers together in the community.
 
  • Daily Rituals: The above examples are ones that may occur only once a week or once a month, maybe even less frequently. However, family rituals can occur on a daily basis. Reading bedtime stories together when your children are young can become a family ritual. Or perhaps when your children are older, you have 5-10 minutes of one-on-one time with each child every night where you focus on their unique interests and concerns.
 
When establishing family rituals it is important to remember that they should reflect your family’s interests and values. They should also be fun and relaxed, not rigid or forced. No matter what your family rituals are, take pride in that they are your own and no matter how simple they may seem, they are likely having a profound affect on your child’s life.
 
- Kara Meyer, Ph.D.


**The content of this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be and should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other medical professional. This blog does not provide clinical advice, nor should its contents be considered clinical advice. Should you have any healthcare-related questions, please call or see your physician or other healthcare provider promptly.