Getting my kids to the dinner table has been somewhat of a monumental task in the past. They would be engaged in some activity and I found that I would be forced to repeat myself that dinner had been served. Meanwhile, by the time they got there, their spaghetti would be stone cold.
My 6 year old asked one evening, as I prepared our quesadillas, that we should light a candle for dinner and make it special. She insisted that we turn off the lights in our dining area and in the kitchen so we could eat our meal in the dim glow of candlelight. I thought it was a great idea. We dug out two pillar candles and found the holders.
Our simple meal turned into “special time” according to my 3 year old. He firmly stated, “We don’t light candles at lunch time because lunch isn’t special enough.”
We’ve tried rituals before, Friday night pizza night, or Saturday morning farmer’s market outings, but these small family rituals never stuck past a couple of tries. Creating a family ritual that “sticks” is part of finding the right one that fits your family.
Since lighting the dinner candles, it’s been easier to get the children to the table and for them to sit throughout the meal until dinner is officially over. They each have their own candle to blow out at the meal’s end. The ambiance sets the tone for a warm, family experience that inspires everyone to share with one another our day’s adventures.
What family rituals have you incorporated into your own family that have “stuck?” We’re always interested in new ideas!