As a family, you are always going to have to go through things together, and the better that you are able to do that, the stronger that you are likely going to feel as a family group. Of course, there are so many ways in which you can approach such rites of passage, and if you find that you don’t always approach it in the best possible way then that might prove to be a problem. However, no family is perfect, and there might be times when you are simply not able to do it in the best way possible. Nonetheless, you will find that a little preparation helps, and specifically if you are preparing for the rites of passage that you know you are likely going to have to go through at one point or another. Let’s take a look at these in particular, and what you might do to make sure that you are properly prepared for them as a family unit.
Of course, one of the common rites of passage is for there to be a new birth into the family. When this happens, it can be very interesting what it does to the family dynamic on the whole. For one thing, you can be sure that you are going to experience your other children having a mixture of reactions. There might be excitement one day and raging envy the next. Indeed, you might have to deal with both of these emotions and more every day in your kids, and it could get very interesting indeed on that front.
The important thing there is that you are making a point of keeping everyone together, and the best way to do that is to focus on how exciting it is that there is to be a new birth. If you speak of it in those terms beforehand, perhaps asking your children what part of it they are most looking forward to, you will find that you prime them to look forward to it in the first place. Once the new baby is actually born, you’ll be amazed at how much most children tend towards amazement and care for the newborn, and you will probably find that your family feels closer than ever as a result - even if a little jealousy might also creep in from time to time.
This is one of the most exciting rites of passage that are out there, so it is important that you are going to make sure that you prepare the whole family for it as well as possible. If you do that, you can all make much more of it, and it could become very exciting indeed.
The first days of school are some of the most emotionally charged that you are likely to experience as a parent, and for your whole family too it is going to be a huge day. Your child will likely be nervous, but they will also be taking their cue from you, and it is probably true that you are going to be emotional about the first day of school itself. Of course, this is perfectly natural, and you should not simply aim to pretend that you are not feeling that way. Instead, you should talk it all out with your child and see whether they have any issues at all - while trying not to build it up too much, as you don’t want them to worry about what is going to happen.
Getting that balance right can be tough, but it is going to be important if you want to make sure that your child is ready to start school in the right way, and if you want to keep your own emotions under check too by being the best parent you can be in that moment. As long as you do that, you will find that everyone deals with it much better. Remember: it gets easier, and it never proves to be quite the huge watershed thing that it appears it is going to be. So you might not have to worry about it too much, even if you are (quite naturally) feeling as though you are struggling emotionally at the time.
Years later, you are going to have a similar thing with college. When your first child goes off to college, it is going to feel like a significant moment, and in many respects it is - not just for you, but for the siblings of the child who is leaving. The thing about college is that it is this kind of halfway situation between staying at home and leaving home, and as such that makes it a really strong way in which you can practice for that real leaving home. That means that you and others in the home can prepare for that to happen much more effectively, which is going to prove important later on.
The important thing here is to make sure that you allow the child their freedom, while also making it clear that you are there for them. Ensure that their siblings have a chance to keep in touch, and make it clear that they are going to see them again soon enough. Managed in the right way, this can be a great situation to make use of, but there is no doubt that it is almost always marred with a little melancholy that is likely to affect the whole family to some degree or another. However, your duty as the parent here is to make sure that the family carries on as it always has, and keeps on looking forwards.
When there is a wedding in the family, that too is a rite of passage that you are going to have to prepare your family for, though of course the great thing here is that it is a particularly joyous occasion which you are going to want to enjoy as best as you can. The main thing is to express to your children what a lovely thing it is, and that they should try to enjoy it as much as possible. You will probably find that they are mostly excited for it, and that they are looking forward to what is ultimately a day-long party with all the family. Of course, as the responsible parent, you are likely going to feel somewhat different about things!
It can be all too easy to get stressed about the wedding day itself - how you are going to keep your kids under control, for instance, and make sure that they remain entertained - but the more that you relax around it, the more your kids will, and you will find that this will help them to really enjoy it for what it is more and more. All in all, it truly is a joyous occasion, and you should find that your kids enjoy it as much as you do. Make sure that you get them to bed early however, so that they can rest up and you can enjoy the evening portion of the day without having to worry about them. You’ll find this helps you to loosen up and really get into it too, which is just as important!
At the other end of the scale, you have the death of a relative in the family, or the death of a close family friend. Although we might not want to think about this so much, the truth is that it is something that happens, and it is a normal part of life, and that means that you are going to have to deal with it at some point or another. When you have kids and someone close to you dies, it can be very tough to make sure that they understand what is going on, but it is one of the most important rites of passage that you are going to have to respect as well as you possibly can.
One way to do this is to get your kids involved in some of the smaller parts of getting things ready for the funeral. That could mean entrusting them to find some good cremation jewelry from memorials.com for instance, or something else of that nature. That will help them to feel involved, and to start to work through how it feels for them too. But the most important thing is that you talk to them about death in whatever way you feel you can.
Though this is no easy thing to do, it is necessary, and you will find that it is far preferable to simply skimming over the topic. You might be amazed at who resolute your child is in dealing with it, and how they are able to grasp it as a concept pretty easily and intuitively. That’s because it is the most natural thing in the world, and the more that you can impress that upon your children, the more likely it is that you will be able to approach it in a healthy way, together, as a family.
CANDY TAI is a wife to David and mom of 5 with a degree in Communications. She's a native Texan (Hook 'Em Horns!) who's been making her home in the Kansas City metro area for nearly 15 years. She loves being able to shuffle her kids from their various sports activities, piano lessons, and school activities. She enjoys fashion, beauty, reality TV, and moviegoing.