What’s the difference between a” Routine and a Ritual?”
A routine is something we do literally “routinely”! We get up at seven o clock every morning. We go to bed at ten every night! For example – you give your child a bath at seven o’ clock every night and then you put him to bed at eight! That’s a ROUTINE. However, why not make that routine less boring and turn into a very personal RITUAL?
Maintaining these routines and rituals even during times of transition like divorce can lower levels of conflict and help children adjust to change, protecting them from the proposed risks of nontraditional families.
Rituals are so important from a psychological point of view – they can help children and parents – brothers and sisters connect!
You probably already have some personalised rituals of your own without even knowing it – but if you haven’t – here are a few examples!
Rituals can be a fun way to teach your child responsibility.
1. Assigned Tasks – For example, assign each family member a specific task when setting the table: one family member clears the table, another sets out napkins, one distributes silverware, and a fourth puts the water glasses out.
You can do the same when preparing breakfast, lunch, or dinner, perhaps to the sounds of your favourite song!
The word “chore” has a negative connotation, but you can make chores a positive family ritual that teaches responsibility.
In many cases, kids don’t mind helping out – it makes them feel special and capable! And family chores can teach your child that your family is a team that operates best when each member contributes.
2. Rotating Chores – For instance, have a rotating chore chart on a whiteboard that changes each Sunday. Or you could write a variety of chores on lolly sticks, then have each family member draw a stick or two to determine their chores for the week.
3. Designated Chore Time – Designate a particular time each week (usually Saturday or Sunday afternoon) when the entire family comes together to clean the house. You can play music, talk, laugh, dance around – but the chores must get done!
4. Family Projects – Finding projects that the entire family can collaborate on is also a lot of fun, whether you’re shelling peas, painting a wall, or planting in the garden!
These rituals show your children that hard work can be fun, and they’ll learn about responsibility from a young age.
Rituals that promote kindness and compassion
Rituals like a loving meditation and volunteering as a family can teach your child the importance of kindness and compassion
Kindness Meditation – It involves thinking of loved ones and sending them positive thoughts or “good-hearted wishes.” You can eventually expand the positive thoughts to more neutral people in your life as well.
The four traditional phrases are, “May you feel safe. May you feel happy. May you feel healthy. May you live with ease.” But the exact well-wishes your family uses aren’t important; it’s about generating feelings of kindness and warmth.
Research shows that the loving-kindness meditation results in increased mindfulness, thoughtfulness, a new purpose in life, and positive social behaviours, like generosity.
So, if your children are getting fed up with “routines” ….turn them into rituals ….add a song, a hug, a kiss or something so personal it makes them feel good! Go on ….try it!