Creating special rituals for your family: Five simple steps

2. Redesign existing rituals. After you think about the parts of family rituals that were useful and those that weren’t, you can think about how to redesign your traditional rituals. Janis, for instance, has always loved singing carols but didn’t like singing them inside a church. So she takes her kids caroling outside friend’s houses. In this way she shares with them a sense of community and extended family. Janis also likes to be outside at night in the winter, so her kids can really experience the power of the seasons. Children might enjoy a candle lighting ceremony, in which each person in the family takes turns lighting a candle and thanking each of their family members for their unique gift to the family.

Next page: Sharing your values and beliefs through ritual

3. Think about your current values and beliefs. Rituals provide focused, family time where we can share the things that we honor and that are precious to us. Talk to the people in your family (partner, grandparents, extended family) about what each of them wants your children to learn in your family. One family may cherish music. Another may want their children to respect all living things. Another may want their child to grow up knowing their family’s faith. Most people have several beliefs they want to pass on to their children. Think about all the ways you are already teaching these values and imagine how you might share them through special family time and ritual.


Next page: Personalizing your rituals

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