Do you remember setting up the Christmas tree? Your birthday celebration? Friday evenings, first day of summer holidays? You may not remember all of it, nor will you remember exactly what happened during those events, but what you probably do remember is the feelings you experienced. You may remember how you felt, setting up and decorating the tree in your living room. You probably remember the anticipation of seeing presents under the tree and the excitement of finally unwrapping them, even though you don’t remember what the presents were. You may even remember some of the smells, and sounds, the Christmas jingles coming through the old cassette player (remember those?). These traditions or rituals are the spice in the dish of life.
Children enter 'play heaven' when they feel emotionally safe and secure.
Rituals are so important in a child’s life. They will be something that children skip into with delight and anticipation. A joy, a time to refuel. It’s this refuel that is so important for the child. Rituals are the safety container for the child. Once they feel nurtured and cared for, 'comfy in the known' they will then feel ready and safe to adventure to the unknown.
It is through 'Rituals' that are fully prepared in the HEAD, HEART and HANDS that children receive the gift of PRESENCE.
Rituals are different from routines. As a matter of fact, rituals are simply 'how' we transform the mundane routine into a sacred special time together. We are fully prepared in the head, heart and hands and due to being so prepared we are present hence the children experience satisfaction and pleasure in the care.
Rituals and care moments are the heart of the day.
Rituals and rhythms give children the predictability to feel safe and it is from this place they launch fully into PLAY! This is where children build their sense of the known and a sense of security. It is through these times that they become emotionally satisfied and it is then we see and observe wonderfully rich independent play. Just like us, children need rituals.
If rituals are consistent, and well prepared, children will know the process. You could say it is fully 'impressed' on every cell of their body. They will anticipate every moment of the carefully orchestrated ritual and they will experience absolute joy in this precious time.
Rituals give us a sense of safety and comfort.
This is even more important for our children. What are you doing to change a routine to a 'ritual'. What rituals can you develop in your space?
Begin with the most important one. A beautiful ritual to welcome children and families. A quiet way of smiling through natural beauty. It’s sets the tone for the day and it sets the tone for the relationship.
At The Nest they have a beautiful birthday ritual that is shared with every child when they celebrate their birthday. They have a specially prepared tray with antique linen, china tea cup and saucer, crystal heart bowl with a tea light and crystal vase for carefully picked flowers, all sits on this tray. This tray is presented at the start of their morning tea. And as Kimberley recently commented, “the joy we have preparing and creating the birthday tray is a gift for us too”. And not only that, the child feels the aroha and care that 'holds' the ritual.
"It is not enough to say we love the child they must feel the results of the care" - Emmi Pikler
Children feel the results of our care and it is through these, and other, rituals that they grow a deep sense of connectedness to all. If we put energy into the place, the space and the pace, we have a much better chance of knitting our communities together. Rituals bring richness to all who partake. They can be very magical and bring a sense of connectedness.
Moments you can FEEL.
A ritual is giving full attention to the ordinary, making it extra-ordinary. A ritual comes from the Hearth and if done with full attention, it can feed us all, the body, the mind and the soul!