Families with Style: Creating Rituals

Set up a regular time to be together, and you'll see your family life really come together

Family rituals are a fantastic way to bring closeness to a family, no matter how busy respective members may be. Planning quality time around your children's school and activity schedules, or around your own work schedule, can be one of a family's biggest challenges. Though it may sound hokey, committing to a daily, weekly, monthly or even yearly ritual can provide the perfect forum for sharing funny stories and personal updates.

These rituals don't need to be extravagantly planned or over the top. In fact, sometimes the simplest act '- just coming together at the table '- can have great meaning. Since we're a household with two working parents and two small children, weekends are important to our whole family. So I've created ways for us to transition from the hectic pace of weekdays to a relaxed weekend mindset through the ritual of Friday night dinners and Saturday morning pancake breakfasts.

Where I got my idea:
When a friend of mine told me that each Friday night her family has a special dinner at which each member has to share the best thing that happened to him or her all week, I knew I wanted to plan a similar ritual for my own family. Like her family, no matter the circumstance, my family sits down to a weekly meal. We look forward to it. Everyone is so happy to be able to relax together even when schedules are demanding. In addition, this is a ritual we can continue whether the kids are in nursery, elementary, junior high or high school.

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