Guest Post by Dr. Priyanka Tibrewal
I have long loved the quote, “Traditions touch us, they connect us and they expand us. There are only two lasting gifts we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings.”
In recent years, the whole idea of parenting has had us focused a lot on giving our children strong wings and the freedom to fly. But, just as important it is to give them the wings, so it is to make sure that we help them grow their roots. For it’s the roots that determine who we are, our beliefs and our ethics.
Purposeful rituals and repeated practices that involve members of the family, these rituals are the perfect food for the roots that we base ourselves and our kids on. Rituals can include a morning regime that organises our day to day life; at the same time it may also include a seasonal or holiday ritual that is more symbolic and planned. These repeated, shared experiences contribute to making us who we are.
What tells us that rituals are important?
When a family nurtures its rituals, just thinking about them evokes strong emotions and memories that give one a deep sense of belonging. It is also clear in research that rituals also determine many factors of growth and personality in a child. They affect the children’s happiness, emotional well-being, sense of identity and even success in school. They help them cope up with stress, trauma and many more difficult situations in life. Deep rooted rituals also affect the levels of satisfaction, both overall and marital, for the adults in the family.
Why are rituals so important?
There are multiple reasons, let us look at some that concern us as parents:
- Create positive memories for children
- Create an Identity & a deep sense of belonging for the child
- Makes them tough and increases the capacity to recover from difficulties
- Develops trust on the parents and regulates better social behaviour
- Provides stability specially in times of stress, change, trauma
- Sense of deep connection with the parent
- Plays an important role in improved health
- Improves academic achievement
- Makes them mentally strong – Decrease in teenage issues like drugs, violence; Less Depression; Less Anxiety
- Builds a connection across generations in our family
- Helps us also to Slow down and share quality time as a family
- Marital satisfaction
To add to the above points, rituals also help to discipline the children. They also enable effective communication between the child and the parent. For instance, we have this ritual at our place with our 8year old, wherein every day after she comes back from the school, we share how our day had been with each other. Initially she did not respond. So rather than asking her how her day was, I would reframe the questions as “What did your friend get for lunch?” and other such questions about her surroundings. Soon we reached a state where this ritual became a part of our post school activity. Now she is always eager and excited to share how her day was without framing and reframing any questions. Now you would ask how this benefited us. Well, while sharing the good experiences of her day, she also shares what went wrong. That enables us to understand our child better and helps us to equip them to deal with those problems and emotions as they occur. There are many such rituals that can be fused in your day to life too. Stay tuned for more. In my next blog I shall share many such rituals that you can start considering the age of your child.
The writer of this article, Dr. Priyanka Tibrewala is a Doctor by profession and an EQ trainer by Passion. Her passion lead her to start her own venture “CONNECT”, a platform that helps you reconnect with your Emotional intelligence.