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Relationship Rituals Strengthen Family Ties

Family Relationship Rituals Strengthen Family Ties

The little family routines in your day may seem predictable and mundane.  But these rituals are the glue that keeps your lives connected.  Ever wonder why it seems more difficult to really “catch up” with someone you haven’t seen very often?  You’re missing the tiny connective details that make your experience richer and more familiar.

Little Relationship Rituals Make The Difference

Pick up your kids from school and you’ll probably ask how their day went.  Meet your spouse at home near dinner time and you’ll probably give a little report on how things went.  Email a relative every few days and you’ll share and receive news about the week.  Have lunch with a friend every week and you’ll visit while enjoying your favorite foods.

Maybe your life isn’t the stuff of adventure novels, but your connecting rituals keep you and your loved ones close.  You share the unique context of your life over time, letting friends and family know you better.  Since they care about you, it all matters.  You build familiarity and fond memories.  You make that little snippet of time together something they can count on.

Sharing Details Gives Meaning

Eating together at the dinner table, calling your mom once a week, and sharing holiday cards may seem like trite surface-level gestures.  Does anyone really care how your day was, or if you enjoyed the show last night, or whether you want to eat out later?

Yes, the people who love you really do want to know these things.  It’s how they get to enjoy their time with you, and you with them.  Just being together and remaining connected gives meaning to people’s lives.  This is true for your youngest children all the way to your oldest living relative or friend.  When things are good, you can laugh and smile together.  When things go bad, you can comfort each other.  More than anything, you’ll both look forward to your rituals and connections.

If you have a pretty hectic family life, just check to see how your relationship rituals are holding up.  When family members have times of separation, you can’t replace face-to-face time.  But making or keeping some of your important relationship rituals can keep the feeling of connection alive.

Don’t forget them and don’t dismiss them.  Relationship rituals are windows of opportunity.  How can you make the most of them today?

Creative Commons License photo credit: mikecogh

Relationship Rituals Strengthen Family Ties

Erika Krull, MS, LMHP

Erika Krull, MS, LMHP is a practicing licensed mental health counselor in Nebraska.

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APA Reference
Krull, E. (2011). Relationship Rituals Strengthen Family Ties. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 4, 2020, from


Last updated: 23 Apr 2011
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