Families need rituals to ensure stability and security.
Remember when your kids cried in the night, but tucking them in nice and tight sent the monsters running from the room?
Remember how a warm cup of milk and a band-aid made bleeding stop and boo-boos heal instantly?
Remember when you heard the catch in her voice stop the avalanche of tears in her throat and she decided to stay at summer camp just because you said you would come get her?
Remember how you drove all the way across town to take back the baby doll to your sister’s house so your baby girl would stay at the sleep-over?These are the memories of our rituals…these are rituals that made the memories.
We never outgrow rituals.
After I married, we gathered at my Dad’s house every Friday night to grill steaks, debate politics and religion, and catch up. For ten years we never missed Friday night if we were in town. When I was in the throws of terrible moral decisions in my life, I called my Dad and said, “Hey Dad, I am gonna pass on steaks tonight. The kids and I are exhausted so we are gonna stay home.” He didn’t buy it.
“Johnnie, there are only a few reasons you would miss Friday night and none of them are good. I’ll see you at six.”
He wasn’t wrong. I brought dessert.
Rituals might not be all that is needed to save our life.
But they might keep our children, adult or younger, on the path. Rituals make us feel seen. Rituals make us feel known. Rituals make us feel loved. What could be better?
What are the rituals you keep or could build in your adult children to keep them on the path of stability and wholeness?