I’ve fallen a little behind on my series of simplifying parenting posts but I’m back now to share with you a couple little rituals that we’ve added to our day that have helped TREMENDOUSLY. Most often we think about rituals as being religious in nature but even if you aren’t religious there are certain patterns you can use to bring a sense of peace to the household. Here are a couple of our favorites.
At the end of the day we all come together for a few moments with a cup of tea. We light some candles and then one by one we share our favorite moments of the day. It causes us to slow down and take a few minutes to reflect and the candle light seems to draw our children in and bring them down, down, down into their bodies. This few minutes of quiet reflection each evening has virtually eliminated the regular nighttime stand off between the children and two tired parents. The ten minutes we take for this seems to be the transition that has been missing from a busy day to slowing down for sleep. We’ve always had a bedtime routine (milk, teeth, book, bed) but this seems to add something a big magical to the routine. Over the past two month I can count on one hand the number of times the kids have had trouble settling to sleep and that my friends, is a HUGE change.
Meal Time Blessing
Along with bedtime, mealtime was also an area where we were particular stressed. Liam could not sit still for the life of him and Morgaine just hated everything we offered her with a passion and had no trouble telling us about it. In an attempt to bring a little harmony to the dinner table we started to say a short little blessing before each meal giving thanks for the world around us and the food that we’ve been given. You wouldn’t think that something so simple would have profound effects but it has. While Liam still has trouble sitting still at the very end of meals it has gotten much better. Morgaine rarely complains about the food anymore and when she does it is more of a calm “I don’t like” that than an all out tantrum. They both also remind us to say the blessing if we are in a rush at meal times and let it slip our mind. I’ve also caught them saying blessing when they’ve prepared their own snack or breakfast as they sometimes do in the mornings if they are up very early. It’s a nice way again just to bring the family together.
Do you and your family have any rituals that you use to bring little moments of peace to your family?