Monday, March 2, 2009

Routines into Rituals into Traditions

I received an email shortly after Christmas from a programme I had signed up earlier on Baby Signing.

It was about Building Traditions.

After the Chinese New Year, many wrote about how it used to be (a sure sign that we are getting old) and how different it is now.

Loads of traditions and rituals that we used to practise are now lost to our kids.

Reckon festive traditions are one thing. But there are some daily rituals I read which I found interesting.

Maybe you will find them interesting too!

1) Tooth Brushing Party
(excerpt :) Every night the entire family can have a "tooth-brushing party." Everyone rushes to the bathroom and brushes their teeth while at the same time humming, "If you’re happy and you know it, brush your teeth!"

Whoever gets to the bathroom first to brush their teeth will put toothpaste on the other person’s toothbrush as well, so when the other person comes to brush their teeth, although so small an action, it lets you know that someone is thinking about you and loves you.

This small act elevates the simple routine of brushing teeth into something more meaningful – a family ritual.

2) Saturday morning fun
We leave the house early enough to go to a park, go hiking, visit a lake etc. Then go for breakfast together.

I may need to put this into an evening exploration instead since hubby may want to sleep in! And add in the night market visit and dinner.

3) Evening Escape
Every Saturday evening we will escape to a place - may it be the library or the mall or a bookshop or the museum etc. The choice of place to be determined each at a time.

May use this when it rains and we cannot go to the park! Or do it in the afternoon instead.

4) Church
Sunday morning, the kids get to dress up and get ready for church.

5) Grandparents time
Sunday evening will be a visit to the grandparents place.

6) Family Home Evening
A family time for telling stories, reciting poems, scripture, playing board games or movie nights.

7) Personal Bedtime Stories
Make up stories or read from a book ones. Make up songs or ready known ones.

8) Teaching Table Manners
(excerpt:) While we eat, we all watch each other to make sure we all use good manners. If someone catches someone else using bad manners, then he or she can take a ticket from that person. We can catch our children (or they can catch us) if bad manners are exhibited. For example, chewing with one’s mouth open, talking with a mouth full of food, putting elbows on the table, using one’s shirt or arm for a napkin, leaving the table without asking to be excused, and so on! It is a lot of fun and our kids are even able to "catch" mom and dad a few times, and they always get a big kick out of that! Our children beg us to do it more often but we reserve it only for certain nights.

9)"What’s New Today?"
(excerpt:) Make it a point to enjoy our family meal together without the distraction of TV. During the meal the kids can share something new that they learned that day. I always check with them when they come home from school and if they can't think of anything new I get them to research something from their books or encarta before they start their homework. It works a treat and starts them learning early about public speaking.

10) Good Night Stinky Feet!
(excerpt:) This is a little ritual I do with my children before they go to sleep at night. I gently run my fingers through their hair as I say, "Good night hair!" Then I trace their eyebrows and cheeks and nose as I say "good night" to each part of their face. If I forget to say "good night" as I do it then my two and three year old will remind me by exclaiming, "say it, say it!" They always try and prolong the game by saying "you forgot my ears" or "you forgot my ankles!" When I get to their feet I say, "Good night stinky feet!" and of course they giggle with delight.
The kids beg me to play it with them every night. It gives me the chance to connect with each child one at a time and lets them know how much I love them!

There are more in the article....but let me start with a few first....
Especially the Brushing Teeth party!
Christopher loves to brush his teeth now.


Jaanvi said...

simple but rewarding rituals.

Angeline said...

some of them are soooooo fun!!!!
If I were you, I'll be so glad that I'm recording all these down, cos' times will pass and it might be lost in memory....

Julie said...

Hey, thanks for sharing. I like #1 and #10. But not #2 coz that's the only day I can sleep till the sun shines on my buttock.

andrewjune said...

i absolutely LOVE the brushing teeth party! cool! thks for the great tips there, Ann...


I love this post, Ann. Thanks for sharing. Now I am in that stage where I say .. good night Blue's Clues (his fav DVD character) and then tuck him to bed .. but the tucking in takes another hour .. sigh.

LittleLamb said...

this is a BabySign program? I didnt know. but definitely a good guide. How i wish i can follow at least one or 2

HN said...

Thanks for sharing such interesting programme with us.. The last point is very heart warming :) I used to do that to my little one now, but not until the feet lar :D

4malmal said...

hey thanks for sharing!
I used to do (1) when Mal was younger so as to get him to brush his teeth.
(10) remind me of this children book that we used to read, Goodnight Moon. We do (6) when we were back in spore, don't do (4) but the rest, we kind of have it :)

Moomykin said...

Very nice list!

Thanks for sharing