by Kristin Kuiper, LMSW, MSW
Halloween is right around the corner! My hope is that you are planning for this weekend, keeping in mind how to keep your children, friends, and family having a fun but safe time. Are you heading out doors to trick or treat? Attending a “fall harvest” party at your church? Going to school or neighborhood events? There is no shortage of fall fun in West Michigan—a delightful season for sure! In my household, we have a princess, a cow, and a bird ready to go!
Holidays are a wonderful time to connect as a family. Building “rituals” of connection are one of the keys to creating and maintaining a strong and healthy bond as a family. A “ritual” is something that each family member can identify as happening when it does and would be able to say that it is something that is predictable, expected, and fosters closeness as a family.
What types of rituals do you hold as a family—on normal days, on holidays, at special events or milestones (birthdays, anniversaries, etc)? Rituals go beyond just the daily routines, as they are set apart from every day expectations, but they don’t have to be complicated or take a lot of time or money. Rituals can be as simple as having pancakes every Saturday morning, or hanging streamers from the birthday boy or girls bedroom door on their special day to celebrate them when they wake up. Part of building a strong, or intentional, family includes thinking about what is important to you and how you might pass these values along to each family member through rituals.
What are your ideas? What rituals do you already hold? Sometimes the most helpful aspect of generating ideas is to share our own experiences with each other.