Think about how much time your family wastes. If you think about time as money, you would not waste so much of it. Time on the clock is external. It goes on without our paying attention, but you and your children should pay attention. Plan rituals. Planned time together does not even feel like time is moving.

How do you plan rituals? According to Eric Barker, you plan rituals with the intention of making them a special time, to have fun, to enjoy just being together. Make it a sacred time, one to make meaningful memories. It might be a few minutes, a whole evening or outing, but plan it with the intention to make them special times.

Give attention to rituals. Savor the time you spend planning to make them novel and different. Your children will remember the craziness and the gift of attention you give them. Rituals might be going for ice cream on Friday nights, or brunch on Sundays. They might be spending time with each individual child at a certain time or doing a certain activity, like a walk after supper.

Rituals need repetition. Mealtime rituals are one of the best things to encourage in your family. Mealtime rituals improve marriages, make kids mentally and physically healthier, and are a powerful way to build a family with trust and love. Make mealtimes a memorable occasion, a tradition to hand down through your children’s future families.

Every tradition was once an innovation. — Irwin Kula

Give time to each other in your family. When you give time, you feel like you have more time. The Journal of Family Psychology says that in families with predictable routines, children had fewer respiratory illnesses and better overall health, and they performed better in school. The article added that rituals have a greater effect on emotional health, and in families with strong rituals, adolescents "reported a stronger sense of self, couples reported happier marriages and children even had greater interaction with their grandparents.” (Thank you, Eric Barker.)

Ritual affirms the common patterns, the values, the shared joys, risks, sorrows and changes that bind a community {family} together. Ritual links together our ancestors and descendants those who went before with those who will come after us. — Starhawk

Judge your lives by internal time, the time you use to make moments meaningful for all in your family. Even take a “secular sabbath,” a break from the monotony of work and iPhones to just have fun and a good laugh with each other, time to just play. The weirdness of internal time means the smallest moments can have the greatest impact on your lives. You and your family get a direct return on your investment of the time you spend together.

Rituals keep us from forgetting what must not be forgotten and keep us rooted in a past from which we must not be disconnected. — Tony Campolo

Rediscover the magic in your everyday routines, by giving intention, attention, and repetition to rituals. The simplest things make memorable rituals.

Southern Arizona resident Bette Mroz is a former teacher, reading specialist and principal. As a mother and grandmother, she continues to help her family learn. She can be contacted at