3 Rituals to Help your Family Reconnect and Reset

By Cassie Keim, Graduate Counseling Intern

Family rituals are simple, fun ways to help your family to slow down and develop moments of connection and belonging. Shown to help provide stability during times of transition, family rituals not only create simple opportunities to connect, but also provide children and teens with opportunities to develop a sense of their own personal identity, and increase structure in the home.

The New Year can be a great motivator to create new healthy habits. However, planning resolutions for yourself and/or your family can feel overwhelming this month with everything we have experienced over the last year.

If you have found yourself stuck in a rut this January but are hoping to create some new healthy habits for you and your family this year, here are some family rituals to help reset your household this month.

Foster Responsibility – Offer Consistent Controlled Choices for Your Kiddos

Some days it can feel like nothing can please our kiddos, no matter how many solutions we may offer for them. Offering consistent opportunities for kids to make small decisions for themselves cultivates the responsibility and independence your kids crave, while providing a routine keeping your kiddos confident they can maintain it. This can look like:

  • Picking between two outfits for the day
  • Picking from two snack choices
  • Picking out what music to listen to before bed, etc.

Increase Connection! Play “High, Low, Buffalo”

Find a convenient time (shared meal times or when you may have to wait, like carpools) to play this game where each family member shares a high, low, and buffalo (something random) about their day.

Support a Sense of Belonging – Find Reasons to Celebrate

Rituals can be a simple way your children can feel special and connected to you and their family. This can be done through collaborating on anything, from special family nights (pizza nights, game nights, movie nights, pajama parties, etc.) or even a secret handshake you develop with your children to say hello or goodnight. Interactions to remind your child they are unique and valued not only will support their self-esteem, but will provide unique memories for your family to always have with one another.