There are many times when I talk to you about “interfaith life” but I don’t actually talk about religion. This week I will be leading a workshop on Shabbat and while I will be talking about Shabbat as a ritual, you can generalize this information to other practices in your life. I promised the participants one idea that will improve their life and the lives of their family members, but I will actually have several suggestions. Let me give all of you one bit of useful parenting information right now.
Studies find that children who have rituals in their lives are more resilient. The studies looked at kids who faced adversity. God willing, our children will face less dramatic setbacks than those in the study. But as the saying goes, into each life some rain must fall. So how very good to create a home in which there are things that strengthen our children. What is a ritual? It is a repeated behavior that happens basically in the same way at a certain time and/or place. It creates predictability and helps our children – and us – gain a sense of mastery. I bet you have aimed to have bedtime rituals, mealtime rituals, homework rituals. And for ourselves as adults, we shoot for bill paying rituals, house cleaning rituals. I hope you’ve also put in some self care rituals and socializing rituals.
In the workshop I’ll talk about the psychological gifts we give our children with rituals that also connect them to a larger community, a group of people to whom they belong. If you have not decided which group of people you want to attach to, or you’re having trouble getting that going, by all means come talk to me afterwards or contact me.
Making Shabbat Your Own
Would you like to start doing Shabbat? Need to start small or do you want to take it up a notch? Come learn easy steps to create “your” Shabbat. We’ll tell you how to have warm, homemade challah even if you work until 6pm. How to engage children of all ages. Ways to approach teens or other skeptics in your family. As a bonus, we’ll tell you how one simple ritual can improve your child’s and your health, happiness and well being. No kidding!