My kids are now bigger than I am, but my favorite family routine is tucking them into bed every night. Amazingly, they still love it too. Most nights I ask them what the highlight and low point of their day was, and I share mine as well. Then I pray for them, thanking God for the gift they are to our family.
Last week I wrote about celebrating milestones as a way of reinforcing identity and family culture. In their book Sticky Faith, Kara Powell and Chap Clark also talk about daily rituals and routines as a way to build family culture and encourage our kids’ positive self-image. They write, “A ritual may sound like some ancient or unusual practice, like chanting by candlelight. But a ritual is simply a social custom, or even a normal way of going about something, that provides the comfort of history, regularity, and even tradition.”
Here are a few of our family rituals:
Sharing the Highlight and Low Point of our Day
As I go to each of their rooms at night, I thank God for specific qualities and gifts He’s given to each one. Sometimes I ask if they have a prayer request. (It’s amazing what you can learn about your teen by asking that question.)
Even if we have to slide the time to accommodate family members’ activities, we try to eat dinner together. Our son works one evening a week, so usually either my husband or I sit with him while he eats dinner.
Short Bible Study after Breakfast.
This is a new experiment we just started. Night time family Bible reading wasn’t working for us anymore.
Family Game Night
For years we did it weekly. Now it’s whenever we fit it in.
Sunday morning pancakes.
For as long as I can remember, we have pancakes on Sundays for breakfast. Our recipe is from our friend Carnie in Austin, Texas, so we like to remember him as we make the pancakes.
1 cup flour
1 cup Quick Rolled Oats (NOT Old Fashioned Oats)
2 TBSP Wheat Germ (optional)
3 TBSP Sugar
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
½ tsp Salt
3 TBSP Vegetable Oil
1-1¼ cup Buttermilk
Chopped Nuts or Chocolate Chips (optional)
Thoroughly blend dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. In a large measuring cup, beat eggs, oil and buttermilk until blended. Fold the liquid into the flour without beating. Mixture will remain slightly lumpy.
Treat griddle or frying pan with spray oil or butter for each batch. Drop onto 375° baking surface. Sprinkle nuts or chips onto the tops. Turn over with a spatula when the tops are bubbly and edges are dry and beginning to brown.
Makes 8 5” pancakes. Four recipes (3/4 cup oil) serves a dozen people.
How about your family? Do you have any daily or weekly rituals?