8 Ways to Build Family Rituals

For busy families that don’t always have time to sit down and enjoy each other’s company around the dinner table, having small family rituals throughout the day can help build bonds.

1. Focus on food.

Eating is a social activity and a great time to bond. We don’t all have time for dinner every night, so start with small goals: a couple of meals together every week.

2. Mark the big days.

Birthdays, anniversaries, promotions and awards: They don’t happen every day, so make a big deal out of them and create memorable moments.

3. Start small.

Rituals don’t have to fill a day to make an impact. Ask a routine question at bedtime and capitalize on those tiny moments of togetherness.

4. Be spontaneous.

Sometimes the stars align and everyone is together for an impromptu game night or ice cream sundaes. Take advantage of it when it happens.

5. Keep it simple.

Rituals don’t have to be elaborate or expensive. Even something simple like a walk around the block after dinner can be a great time to connect.

6. Don’t sweat it.

So you miss a brunch every so often, that’s fine. Try to only plan for the week ahead, keeping your schedule flexible to share your time when the chance arises.

7. Make work fun.

Chores are part of any household, so make them fun. Turn leaf-raking into a hot-chocolate-tasting fest or Sunday-night dinner into an everyone-helps gathering.

8. Have all kinds of conversations.

Let your kids know it's okay to share their unhappy moments. Give them a change to be honest and to learn from their mistakes.