We all put so much emphasis on our holiday traditions, which will be here before you can blink. Yet, according to author Meg Cox, parents and grandparents, especially new ones, need to understand that holidays are only the barest beginning of the use of rituals.
In The Book of New Family Traditions (Revised and Updated): How to Create Great Rituals for Holidays and Every Day, Meg not only shows you how to create meaningful rituals for holidays but more importantly, rituals for everyday. Rituals are the glue that connects us in our families.
Rituals can lift our spirits, help us cope with problems, gain insights, and enrich our everyday lives while, quite literally, feeding our soul.
Rituals Help Children
You may already be enjoying many rituals with your grandchildren. And when you understand all the good things rituals do for children, you will start looking for opportunities to create new ones.
Rituals help children in many ways. Rituals…
- Impart a sense of identity
- Provide comfort and security
- Help to navigate change
- Teach values
- Pass on ethnic or religious heritage
- Teach practical skills
- Solve problems
- Keep alive a sense of departed family members
- Help heal from loss or trauma
- Generate wonderful memories
How Can We Create More Rituals?
Holiday traditions are important but the simple rituals we do everyday when we greet each other, sit down to meals or say goodnight create the true tapestries of our family. Meg lists the following five signs your family may need a ritual:
- A big occasion or milestone is coming
- A family member gets hit with major news, good or bad
- A recurring rough spot clouds the family routine
- The whole family, especially the kids, displays a general sense of boredom
- You want to make “teachable moments” both fun and unforgettable
According to Meg, the best rituals are a deep-seated expression of what matters most to a given family. We need to take stock of the rituals practiced in our family. Then ask ourselves: What would a stranger conclude about what matters to our family based on these rituals?