The Importance of Family Rituals

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Most moms notice that their kids enjoy repetition. From watching the same video over and over to requesting a favorite book every night at bedtime, children crave the security and reassurance that a consistent routine provides.

One way to enhance this sense of comfort derived from repetition is to create or carry on family rituals. Family rituals are meaningful acts, repeated on a predictable schedule, that celebrate the uniqueness and solidarity of the family.

Family rituals differ from family routines in that they're infused with meaning, and designed to create an emotional response in the participants. While family routines can be comforting, mentally healthy, and vital for running an organized household, they're usually not spoken of as having any particular symbolism or meaning.

Family rituals, on the other hand, generally do carry meaning or symbolism and can become an important part of a child's family memory. In some instances, routines can become rituals if they're carried on over a long period of time, and come to have special emotional significance.

Family rituals are in danger of losing strength these days. With so many households having two working parents, and kids busy with school and extracurricular activities, it can be hard just to get everyone in the same room at the same time.

Media-saturation and commercialization play a role as well, leading some families to think that gifts are the most important part of any celebration, and discouraging individuality and creativity.