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Everyone loves routines. It calms us down, keeps things predictable and makes our lives simpler. As a mom, I’ve not consciously ever worked on this, but there are a few family rituals that have become part of our regular routine.
Some of these can involve the whole family, while others can be just between one parent and a child. Either way, the rituals are beautiful, because they form the most important backbone of positive parenting: Connection.
As our children grow older, the rituals may change, but the bonds that they create only serve to cement relationships in a way that nothing else can.
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Here are some of the family rituals I love and cherish and which you can easily practise with your own children too. The first one is something that we started a fortnight ago and I smile when I think how naturally it came about.
Gy used to love having me braid her hair when she had flowing, long hair till she was about 8 years old. Soon after, she decided she wanted to chop off her locks in favour of comfort and ease. Just like that, the braiding had to stop.
Once the hair grew back to a reasonable length I thought we could resume the ritual. Instead, something else happened. She began to untangle the knots, tie it up in a ponytail and do this all by herself.
I was torn between two conflicting emotions: Pride that she was now capable of doing it herself and disappointment that such an unique mom-daughter moment had just vanished in a trice.
That is, until a fortnight ago. One night she came up to me and said, ‘I have a request. Do you think you can do it for me?’
‘If I can, I definitely will. Tell me what it is.’
‘Could you untangle the knots for me every night before bed and braid my hair so it doesn’t get difficult for me to comb it out in the morning?’
My heart gave a tiny somersault of joy and I cautiously asked, ‘Are you sure? I thought you liked to comb it yourself.’
‘Well, I do. But I like to lean back on you at the end of the day and I am too tired to do it myself.’
I didn’t need to be asked twice!With immense happiness, I sat down to gently remove the knots, lift up the strands and braid them in the way that I knew how. And with every movement, I could feel the child in my arms relax and give herself over to the moment.
You may already be aware of the one ritual that I heartily endorse and that is the giving of hugs.
I call it the Gift that keeps giving.
We’re a family of huggers. Hugs are the way we express so many emotions right from joy to forgiveness. Morning goodbyes at the school bus and bed time snuggles are incomplete without the mandatory hugs.
A hug says more than words can, at times. If you can, add hugs into your daily routine and tell me how much better you feel at the end of the day.
In July this year, Gy turned 12 and as per a promise I made to her, she began drinking tea with me in the evenings. I truly cherish this evening ritual, because it is the time she chooses to open up to me, share how her day went and so much more.
On occasion, she has surprised me with insightful questions on life, politics and religion which I would have thought were beyond her understanding. Goes to show that I truly under-estimate this child of mine.
My tea time is my Hygge time. It keeps me grounded, grateful and glad for the company of this wonderful soul that I get to call my daughter.
Here is how I practise Hygge as a Mom
Reading Books/ Telling Stories
As ardent bookworms, both mom and daughter, it stands to reason that stories and books will form an integral part of our daily ritual.
Do you remember this post I wrote about storytelling and how it’s something that my daughter adores? Even today, when she is technically well past the age of being told stories, she will never pass up the chance of being told a funny or heartwarming tale.
The other thing we do is sitting on the couch, next to each other, with our noses buried in our respective books. Occasionally, she will break into giggles and point out something for me to read in her book.
That shared love for the written word is something that can only be experienced, not fully expressed. And oh, what a gorgeous, wonderful ritual that is! I do hope you have that with your kids.
Have you read the book, Wonder by R.J. Palacio? It’s one of our favourites! 🙂
Each of these rituals may seem so utterly mundane but the emotions they evoke are anything but that. I wish, from the bottom of my heart, that you are able to connect with your kids, no matter how old, in these daily rituals. I’d also love to know if you have any rituals that you hold dear.
- Featured image of mom holding daughter via Shutterstock
- Daughter and mom laughing via Shutterstock
- Mom daughter hugging via Shutterstock
- Braiding hair image courtesy Shutterstock
- Pin image of mom and daughter happy family via Shutterstock