I love this photo of Laini and me, which was taken during one of our annual family rituals. Many years ago, Laini and I decided to make #GGA a thing – the Great Girl Adventure. This is when just the two of us go on a short 2-3 day adventure.

This photo was taken during our 2021 trip to InterContinental Wonderland, an amazing hotel I had worked on opening before leaving IHG for my next work adventure, so I was keen to see the finished product. It’s truly a spectacular experience, from the fabulous underwater Mr. Fisher restaurant to the views and service.

In fact, GGA is just one of our family rituals. Over the years, our family has intentionally created and scheduled sets of experiences.

Why are family rituals important?

  • Rituals create a sense of rhythm and set expectations for each of us, particularly important for the little ones.
  • Set family activities create space in busy social calendars, because we all need breathing space and down time.
  • Repeated behaviors become habits, which shape character over time. They help us become who we want to be.
  • They’re fun!

Here are our family rituals:

  • Daily – we end every single day with HPGs – these are our High, Proud, and Gratitude. Isn’t it too easy for kids to say that everything’s fine? When parents asked what happened today, a pat answer can be expected: “nothing much.” On the other hand, HPGs set our mind throughout the day about what we’ll share at the end of it. They help us become more aware of good things as they’re happening, and immerse us in a steady state of gratitude.
  • Weekly – we set aside one day a week for Pizza Movie night. Perhaps not the most creative, but we love it! The three of us rotate who gets to pick the movie, but the pizza always comes with jalape├▒os. This sets regular family time every weekend, which creates necessary space between social activities and obligations.
  • Yearly – we have been painting our annual vision for about a decade now! Yes, our family has found painting visions is more abstract but art offers more freedom to dream, than setting hard goals. And we paint over the previous year with each new year – wow, these canvases are getting heavy! ­čśů
Emily Chang Social Legacy Family Rituals | ADEK Unparenting Conference

What are YOUR family’s rituals?

I’d love to hear about them!

For last year’s new year intentions, check out this post.

I shared thoughts about family rituals and more at a recent parenting conference in Abu Dhabi. For more on that experience, check out this post about that time the royal family invited me to speak.