The importance of family rituals

Becky Rickman
  1. The first snowfall means warm cider and cake donuts.
  2. The first day it hits 80 degrees, all girls in the family paint their toenails bright red.
  3. Guys night out at the steakhouse when each boy turns 10.
  4. Family photo in a certain spot (under a tree in the front yard, on the sofa, sitting in the bathtub) the first day of each season.
  5. No silverware Saturday.
  6. Birthday child gets to pick the meal, the flavor of cake and ice cream.
  7. Girls get ears pierced at 12.
  8. Family game night once a week.
  9. Friday night date night.
  1. Tuck each child in bed.
  2. Dinner at a certain time.
  3. One chapter of a book series at bedtime.
  4. Hug as everyone heads out the door in the morning.
  5. "I love you," yelled from bed at night, naming each person by name.
  6. "What was the highlight of your day?" at the dinner table, each person answering in turn.
  7. After-school snack ready when they walk in the door.
  8. Bathtime from youngest to oldest.
  1. Christmas Eve at grandparents and Christmas morning at home.
  2. Annual trip to the beach or mountains or some theme park.
  3. Easter egg hunt on Saturday afternoon before Easter.
  4. Back to school shopping trip with each child individually, including lunch or dinner with parent of choice.
  5. Oldest child sits in front seat when only one parent goes.
  6. Family celebrates parents' anniversary by recreating their first meal together (my parents did this every year with us kids-BLTs and Orange Crush).
  7. Inviting people with no family for Thanksgiving dinner.
  8. Making homemade chocolates for Valentine's Day.
  9. Memorial Day pancake breakfast.
  10. Work at food kitchen of homeless shelter for Thanksgiving.
  1. Brush teeth.
  2. Take a vitamin.
  3. Go to the bathroom.
  4. Get a drink of water.
  5. Read a story.
  6. Five minutes of "How was your day?" or "Anything you want to talk about?"
  7. Say prayers.
  8. Tuck in like a burrito. My kids loved this and requested it. You pull the covers up to their chin and then with karate chop hands, tuck the covers under them beginning at their shoulders and all the way down to their feet until they are wrapped like a burrito.
  9. "I love you like crazy." Or, "Sweet dreams." Or, "Don't let the bedbugs bite!"
  10. Lights out.
how to ease your family into a routine.