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Creating family rituals

Between hockey practice, dance class, work meetings, dentist appointments, and every other scheduled activity, do you ever feel that your family is a bit... disconnected? Sometimes it’s hard to have meaningful time together, especially when there’s so much to do, and so little time to do it. One of the easiest ways to support moments of connection is through creating family rituals. 

Rituals don’t have to be elaborate – they can be small habits and traditions that your family can look forward to and remember for years to come. Do family rituals really make a big difference? Yes. It is important that we create a positive family culture and identity. Spending meaningful time with your family helps strengthen the emotional bond between one another, increases communication and regulation skills, and can lead to a healthier lifestyle. 


When we prioritize family time, we are sending a message around the importance of spending time with one another – this helps every member feel valued, seen, heard and loved. When we feel a sense of belonging, it allows us to continue to create meaningful relationships throughout our lives. 


Before you start brainstorming different ideas, take some time to consider what is important to you and your family: What rituals do you want to continue with your family? Did you participate in any activities when you were younger that you want to continue with your family? 


Perhaps you are already engaging in a meaningful activity and want to make it more predictable and part of your daily routine. What are your family’s values? Every family prioritizes certain beliefs and values. What are your priorities as a family? What types of values are you wanting to teach your children? What types of activities does your family enjoy doing? Are you an athletic family and enjoy playing sports? Maybe you enjoy driving to the mountains and going on a family hike. Try thinking about what activities you might already be doing and how you can enhance those experiences. 


To help get your creative juices flowing, we have listed below some of our favorite ways to connect regularly as a family: 



  • Morning affirmations: In the mornings we all tend to rush around, getting ourselves ready for the day and then run out the door. Stop at the door, get down to your child’s level and insert a meaningful connection affirmation before leaving for the day. “You can do hard things,” “today, I know you will try your best.”

  • Lunchbox notes: It can be hard to be away from your family throughout the day. Try packing a small note in your child's lunchbox reminding them how much you miss them and can’t wait to go to the park after school!

  • Highs and lows: Pick at least a couple nights a week where the whole family can sit around the dinner table together. While eating, go around the table sharing one high and one low from your day. This gives you a chance to celebrate successes and problem solve issues together as a family. This also validates for younger children that everyone has good and bad parts of their day.

  • Bedtime rituals: Did you have a favorite book series as a child? Do you enjoy some calming yoga or meditation before bed? Insert your child into some of those routines you enjoy. Reading or doing yoga together is a great way to calm down your bodies while connecting.

  • Family meetings: We love family meetings. This gives the whole family a chance to connect, make decisions together, and problem solve as a group. Always make sure that there is a fun group activity that is part of your regular family meeting.

  • Family game/movie night: At the end of a long week there’s nothing better than a family movie night. Do a family vote to see what movie everyone wants to watch, run to the store for fun snacks you don’t normally buy, or make a fun fort to cuddle up and watch the movie from. 



Family rituals don’t have to be fancy or lengthy. Keep them short, meaningful, and easy to replicate on a regular basis. We promise that these little moments will add up in big, positive ways for your family. 


Ashlee and Lisa are child psychologists who created KidsConnect Psychology as a place for children and families to access tools, support and therapy. Check out their website for digital downloads, parenting tool kits, information about their parent counseling, school consultations, daycare consultations and more! Follow them on Facebook and Instagram at @KidsConnect Psychology.


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