Look for ways to include your child in family rituals. Use them to help anchor her sense of belonging. Many kids carry these rituals with them into adulthood, marriage and other relationships.
Give her a preview so she’ll know what to expect and will feel more comfortable joining in the activity. Talking up these experiences will also help your child look forward to big family get-togethers.
What you can say
“Sofia, when I was your age, my family always played touch football on Thanksgiving before we ate dessert. The game involved all our guests in some way. Some people played in the game, and others cheered them on. Someone kept score, and everyone kept track of whether Uncle Mike was trying to cheat. We always had a great time.”
“I’d like to have that become a tradition for our family too. Would you like to help me plan it? We can find cool invitations and make a team roster. Your cousins will love it!”
Why this will help
Being included in family traditions can enhance your child’s sense of self, both within the family and outside of it. Rituals and stories can make her feel safe, wanted and happy to participate in something everyone enjoys.