Family Routines and Rituals

Report
Family Routines
and Rituals
Mary Spagnola, PhD;
Barbara Fieses, PhD
Family Routines and Rituals
 Routines
and rituals provide predictable
structure that guides behavior and
emotional structure that supports early
development.
 Variations in the practice of routines and
the meanings connected to rituals are
associated with variations in
socioemotional, language, academic,
and social skill development
Family Routines and Rituals



Routines and Rituals- Both refer to specific,
repeated practices that involve 2 or more
family members.
Routines- Communication is instrumental,
monetary time commitment involved, and
are repeated regularly. They hold no special
meaning.
Rituals- Communication has symbolic
meaning, the time commitment and
continuity of the ritual continues through
generations.
Dinnertime


Features of both routines and rituals
Some practices do not have special meaning


Meaningful and symbolic elements


Distributing food, doing dishes, etc.
Saying grace, eating certain foods, telling stories
Rituals are distinct and unique to a particular
family, reflecting family identity, culture, and
shared values.
Family Routines and
Language
 Routines
are often rich with language,
exposing children to a broad range of its
use.


Narratives
Explanations


Clarifications
Cultural rules
 Meta-
Language- draws the listener’s
attention to language by using terms such
as “say, ask, talk, and read”

Common at the dinner table
Academic Skill Development





Reading routines support development of
early literacy skills.
Encourages continued enjoyment of
reading into school years
Joint book reading
Routines with book reading
Family routines ease transition to
school by teaching what will be
culturally expected in school.
Social Skill Development
 Routines
and Rituals provide a structure
for the socialization of culturally
acceptable behavior.
 Preschool years- begin making choices
about routines and practice new skills.
 Cultural
differences
 Foster skill development
and connections with
others
Family Routines, Rituals, and
Relationships
 Family
rituals and relationship satisfaction
during the transition to parenthood are
associated
 Variations in family interaction patterns at
ritual gatherings are related to child
socioemotional functioning.
Marital Satisfaction and Family
Stability
 New
parents must learn to integrate
feeding, bathing, and naptime routines
into their lives
 These routines are established easier when
the marital bond is stronger.
 Routines and Rituals evolve over time.
 “Couplehood” to “Parenthood”

Parents of infants report fewer rituals and less
investment in them than parents of
preschoolers
Marital Satisfaction and Family
Stability
 Marital
stability is associated with healthy
child socioemotional adjustment.
 Family routines and rituals are associated
with the quality of the marital relationship.
 Mothers of preschoolers reported less
satisfaction in their marriage when little
meaning was associated with their family
rituals
Divorce





Divorce disrupts family life
Less family stability and consistency
Routines and rules may be different in each
home.
Parents who resolve their differences and
agree on a set of rules and routines in both
homes, provide the most stability for their
child.
Meaningful rituals may protect children from
the disruptions associated with divorce.
Emotional Investments


Repeated family gatherings offer the
opportunity to create strong emotional
bonds.
Dinnertime conversations



Single Parents- more social interaction with
children.
Married Parents- spend 25% of mealtime talking
to each other
Routine gatherings form the foundation for
rituals that are built on emotional
connections.
Family Transactions and
Routines





Parent must adjust routines and rituals to
particular child.
The child contributes to the regulation of
family life.
It takes time to develop routines.
A pattern or routine that works for one child
may not work for another child.
Dynamic interplay of the individual
characteristics of the children and the parents
that form the collective routines of family life.
Transaction Model Example
Parent
Worry &
Concern
Parent Style
Observant
Establish
back rub
routine
Parent feels
confident
Child
Biological
Rhythms
Heart Beat
Calmed by
back rub
Settled to
sleep
Regular
sleep cycle
Transaction Model Example
Parent
Intrusive
interaction
style
Persistence
and
coaxing
Gives up
routine
Child
Feeding
difficulty
Disengage
and food
refusal
Tantrum
Social skill
impairment
Mechanism of Effect
 Three
mechanism of effect are
associated with the creation of
predictable routines.



Parental efficacy
Behavior monitoring
Coherence of family relationships
 Predictable
and regular routines mediate
the effects of parental efficacy on
positive child outcomes
Parental Efficacy
 Important
for families with young children.
 Mothers of infants felt more competent
with their parenting role if they reported
regular household routines.
 Parents who engage in more daily
caregiving routines
 More
comfortable with the tasks
 Greater sense of accomplishment
 Routines more likely to continue over time
Behavior Monitoring
 Monitoring
is an important part of family
routines
 More active monitoring decreases risky
behaviors in children
 Parents
who feel competent
in carrying out routines may
be better equipped to track
their children’s activities.
Coherence and Family
Relationships
 The
symbolic nature of family rituals and
the emotional connections that are made
over time.
 Adaptive family functioning-rituals
promote forming trustworthy and reliable
relationships
Ritual Meaning
Quality of Life
Assessment for young children

Questionnaires

Advantages



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Disadvantages
 Not as useful for
interventions
Direct Observations


Time and cost efficient
Stronger psychometrics
Comparisons across groups

Observational methods can involve direct or
videotaped observations of families carrying out daily
routines.
Interviews


Families can clarify and expand on meaning of
practices
Track across generations
Interventions
 Remediation

Changes the way the child behaves
toward the parent.
 Redefinition

Changes the way the parent interprets the
child’s behavior.
 Reeducation

Changes the way the parent acts with the
child through increased knowledge.
Conclusion
 Families
can identify activities that they
regularly engage in, look forward to, and
would miss if not regularly practiced as a
group.
 Routines and rituals ease transitions and
foster a sense of autonomy while
maintaining connections with the family.
Crash in the Andes
 The
survivors became a family
 Routines



Assigned tasks
Food Rationing
Sleep Assignments and Rotation
 Rituals

Nightly Rosary

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