Fit Friday - Creating Rituals of Connection

I've been seeing lots of back to school pictures on social that are tradition for families. For example someone posted a special after first day ice cream treat with her two kiddos. One a high schooler and the other a middle schooler. She noted that it had been going on for 11 years. How cool the same back to school ritual for 11 years. That is some mama love right there. Today the very cool and wise Kelly Shores of Fortville's Restoration Counseling has for us a great guest blog post on why rituals of connection are so very important for families. Love having her as a guest blogger!

When I say the word rituals what comes to mind? You may think of religious traditions or specific holiday traditions. But do you think of the things that you do on a daily basis to create connection with your family members? For many of us, that may sound like a strange idea. But John and Julie Gottman of the Gottman institute have found that couples and families that have rituals of connection, or patterns they can count on over and over, have stronger relationships than those who do not have these rituals.

Rituals are even more important in our fast paced society where families don't have the same time for connection that they once did. Research shows that 67% of families are not eating dinner together on a regular basis and of those who are, 1⁄2 have the TV on during dinner! This is a huge change from when many of us were growing up and highlights the importance of creating rituals to increase connections in your relationship.

So, you may still be wondering “what does she mean by rituals?” A ritual of connection is anything that you do on a consistent basis to create a bond in your relationship. Many of you may already have some of these rituals in place. Do you have a specific bedtime routine? Do you make sure to kiss good­bye and hello when leaving and returning? Do you have regular date nights? These are all examples of rituals!

If you already do these things, great! If not, let's look at some ways to create rituals in your relationships...I think you will find them enjoyable and rewarding. You may begin by sitting down with your spouse and/or family and talking about some rituals you would like to create in your family. Talk about the ritual, what you would like it to look like, and why it is important to you. You may also talk about how that ritual played out in your family and what you want it to look like now. Finally, talk about implementing these rituals and how you will help each other to remember the importance of rituals in your family.

Here are some examples of rituals you may consider:
  • ­Creating a specific bedtime ritual
  • ­having a specific ritual for leaving and returning (ie kiss, hug, talking about the day, etc.)
  • ­Celebrations (what traditions are important for special occasions?)
  • ­Doing schoolwork
  • ­Family dinners
  • ­Dates and romantic evenings
  • ­Taking care of one another when one is sick
  • ­Apologizing after and argument
  • ­Daily time for conversation
  • ­Church/religious activities
  • ­Participation in community events

These are just a few ideas of how to create rituals in your relationships. What ideas do you have? I hope you find creating rituals a rewarding part of creating connection in your relationships!

Meet Kelly Shores and learn more about Restoration Counseling by clicking here. Follow them on Facebook as well. They often blog about helpful topics for mamas and families! So glad to have them here in our community. What a great resource!

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