By Raising Children Network
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  • Sometimes rituals or routines need to change to accommodate young children as they grow up.
  • If something isn’t working any more, why not let your child suggest an alternative?
  • Family meetings or chats can be a good time to discuss changes that involve the whole family.

When things change a lot, some rituals and routines might need to change too. Maybe your son no longer wants to be kissed goodbye in the schoolyard or your daughter wants to read her own bedtime stories. Bedtime could be getting later and later as your child gets older, or you might be about to have another baby. You and your partner might separate, or you might meet a new partner who becomes part of your life. 

Being open to changing your family’s existing rituals and routines or suggesting new ones is a good idea as family needs change over time.

Although you may love baking cakes with your son on Saturday afternoons, he may want to hang out with his friends. Talk with him about what he’d enjoy doing with you instead. Be ready to try new ways of spending time together.

Letting go when things don't work anymore will keep you and your family closer than if you force a family tradition because you really love it. It might be as simple as agreeing to change pizza night to Sunday instead of Saturday because your children want to go to friends’ houses for sleepovers.

Sometimes it might involve a complete rethink. Maybe your children want to have their birthday party with friends instead of family. Finding a compromise that works for you and your children, like agreeing to parties for friends every second year, might suit you better.

If a tradition the whole family used to enjoy isn’t working, you can ask your children to come up with other ideas, and put forward a few suggestions of your own. You can also set some parameters if you want, like:

  • the maximum the activity can cost
  • how often the activity occurs
  • which night or day is best for you all.
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  • Last Reviewed 15-05-2006