Last week, I wrote about how necessary forming rituals as a writer can be in order to produce the best work you can as regularly as you can. But then, after I wrote that post, I started thinking about that same principle in terms of parenting. Could forming rituals in your parenting life lead to a more organized, productive form of parenting?
I believe the answer to that question is a firm, “Yes.” Here’s why:
Children depend on routine. There are many studies out there that prove children are more likely to succeed in homes where a routine has been established for them, including this one published by the Washington Post. Wake up at this set time. Eat lunch at this set time. Read with Dad at this set time. Bed at this set time. All of these seemingly insignificant routines provide a child with a sort of security blanket, and lead to fewer fights and tantrums.
Parenting rituals keep you, as a parent, more organized. When you know what times need to be devoted to your child’s needs, and you have them on a set schedule, you can work your schedule around them. This leads to fewer time conflicts, fewer instances of work not getting done on time, and hopefully no instances of forgetting your time for carpool (yes, that has happened to me before).
Rituals in your parenting routines establish a tone for your home. Let’s say that one of your rituals is saying a prayer with your children before dinner—once you do it enough, a quiet, peaceful, and thankful mood will be established in those minutes together. Maybe one of your rituals is having a dance party in the evening, an hour or two before bedtime. This creates a fun, vibrant, energetic tone to your home in the hours you want, and will hopefully lead to a tired, quiet tone again just in time for bed. And hopefully, through all of the routines and rituals you set as a parent, the tone you set for your home will be one of love.
If you haven’t already, see what happens to your home when you start building and incorporating firm rituals into your children’s lives. Hopefully a happy and more manageable future awaits you!