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Develop Rituals to Increase Family Closeness

Parents and children naturally crave connection with each other. A strong relationship with a parent can provide children with a sense of security and belonging, helping them to feel supported as they navigate the obstacles of growing up. This can feel tough in today’s families, where we’re often trying to juggle the demands of busy work, home, and social lives. Family traditions provide a sense of comfort and stability within the frenzy. They offer a chance for loved ones to come back together and get reunited, even if it’s only for a short amount of time.

Rituals are also a wonderful way to create shared memories! To this day, I still remember swimming at the YMCA and eating grilled cheese sandwiches with my family every Sunday. Fortunately, rituals don’t need to be fancy or even overly meaningful in order to foster connection. Chances are, your family already maintains a few big yearly traditions (cake on birthdays, for example), but it’s also worth having smaller rituals that everyone can look forward to on a more regular basis.

Here are some ideas for daily, weekly, and monthly rituals your family may enjoy:

Daily

  • Screen-free dinnertime
  • Perform a secret handshake before school drop-off
  • Sing a special song after naptime
  • Share the high and low from your day
  • Take and send a picture from your day to everyone else (for older kids/teens with phones)
  • Set a timer for 10 minutes and everyone cleans or completes a chore
  • Reading together before bed

Weekly

  • Taco Tuesdays (or Meatless Mondays, Sundaes on Sundays, etc)
  • Family Fun Fridays: rotate activities such as playing games, watching movies, riding bikes, and so on
  • Meal plan together
  • Exercise or play a sport together once a week
  • Change the chore chart
  • Share what you’re grateful for on Sunday evenings

Monthly

  • Hold a family meeting
  • Hike a new trail
  • Cook a cuisine from a different country or region each moth
  • Do a random act of kindness for others
  • Fries on the First (of the month)
  • Host family or friends at your home for dinner

I talk about rituals and MANY more ways of connecting with your kids in my new book, Connecting Kids to Parents: Stellar Activities to Bring Parents and Children Closer Together. If you happen to check it out, I’d love it if you’d leave an Amazon review!

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