Post image for Mommy Monday: Rituals and the Caregiver-Child Bond

Mommy Monday: Rituals and the Caregiver-Child Bond

by Kimberly on April 29, 2013 · 15 comments

A fellow graduate music therapy student recently defended her master’s thesis. The defense itself was amazing, but what was even more amazing was her research—a heuristic, grounded theory study that explored how community-based music groups support bonding and attachment in adoptive families. Her research is worth a blog series and more . . . but, alas, it is not my information to share 🙂

Given, though, that my primary research interest of emotion regulation development is heavily influenced by the attachment process, my friend and I have had a couple of interesting intellectual conversations. One in particular stands out, primarily because of how it resonated with me not only as a professional, but as a parent, too.

The concept relates to the attachment process between a caregiver and a child, which relies strongly on the bonding that occurs between those individuals. And according to my friend, the literature on bonding speaks to the importance of rituals in creating that bonded relationship.

Rituals. When I first heard this, it felt simultaneously strange and intuitive. Strange because I had considered rituals to be this structured and organized phenomenon that’s often tied to a larger community group (e.g. church). Yet it was intuitive and familiar, too. I thought of all the tiny, daily, familiar rituals my children and I have. Some occur within our household routines, especially those related to transitions to and from bedtime, school/work, and eating. Other rituals are regular, daily, loving verbal banters that occur between my children and me. All these rituals seem to work in part to define who we are as a family.

Then I thought of what I knew as a music therapist, especially in my work with children with a history of complex trauma. One importance aspect of their milieu experience is to have structure in their lives. These occur on house rituals, i.e. what you do when you wake up, go to breakfast, go to school, eat lunch, play after school, have dinner, and go to bed. Then there are the scheduling rituals, what you do on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, weekends. These rituals and this structure are important as the familiarity they create provides a safety net for these children to learn and heal.

In short, then, following my initial surprise, I see how rituals are a cornerstone of the bonding and attachment process. Have you experienced the same?


{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Christian May 12, 2013 at 8:08 am

I believe that rituals are important for structure. There are many times when our “routine” at home is thrown off by something, and there is a definite change in my children’s behavior. I see it as well if they stay the night at someone else’s house. It’s almost a relief for them to be back home where they know what to expect.
Christian´s last blog post ..What Is The Cause Of Tinnitus?

Kimberly May 14, 2013 at 8:26 am

I completely agree, Christian. And it’s the structure aspect that helps contribute to bonding. Interesting, huh? ~Kimberly

senior living May 1, 2017 at 11:17 pm

While you’ll notice how comfortable and spacious your home is after an exterior remodel or expansion, you’ll practically be doing backflips at the end of the month. That’s because the numbers on your energy bill will likely be quite a bit lower than they were previously. And as is the case with a golf scorecard, lower numbers are definitely better.
senior living´s last blog post ..Howto Brainstorm Applying Bubbl.Us

care homes May 1, 2017 at 11:30 pm

In most cases, keeping your elderly loved ones at home costs considerably less per hour than it would to send them to your local elder care home or traditional sitter. This is even more true when the home care company you choose to take care of your elders have reasonable rates and simple pricing models that do not involve the use of monthly or annual contracts.
care homes´s last blog post ..Howto Brainstorm Applying Bubbl.Us

in home care May 2, 2017 at 1:11 am

Home health care professionals can ensure the right medications are being taken at the right times to control health conditions and prevent harmful drug interactions.
in home care´s last blog post ..Howto Brainstorm Applying Bubbl.Us

assisted living May 2, 2017 at 1:21 am

Certified home care workers also will be able to assist with bathing, dressing, and grooming as well as medication reminders.
assisted living´s last blog post ..Howto Brainstorm Applying Bubbl.Us

independent living June 16, 2017 at 12:07 am

For me rituals are just done by quack doctors and also when you’re gonna poop. Just put in mind all the things thats needs to be done and everythings gonna be ok.
independent living´s last blog post ..Brother and sister reunited at Sherwood Place Day Centre

care homes June 24, 2017 at 5:18 am

Rituals are good. But for the others? We just can’t force them to do the same thing.
care homes´s last blog post ..Fulton Place Respite Centre offers families much-needed relief

Australian home care July 10, 2017 at 2:30 pm

Rituals? I can’t think of what to say. It’s just too deep to express.

home care July 11, 2017 at 7:43 am

I don’t have rituals. I guess it works for somebody.
home care´s last blog post ..Fulton Place Respite Centre offers families much-needed relief

caregiver resources July 19, 2017 at 10:27 pm

Rituals is ok but you just have to stick on what you’ve just just planned to do for the day.
caregiver resources´s last blog post ..Hello world!

aged care Brisbane October 14, 2017 at 2:09 am

If you’re looking to improve the look of your home without the painting, vinyl siding is a popular, affordable choice. Many homeowners and builders choose it because it’s long lasting, durable, inexpensive and relatively easy to install and maintain. Vinyl comes in a variety of grains, thickness and colors making it also a practical choice for many homeowners.

independent living centre October 14, 2017 at 2:31 am

Younger family members are liberated from the role of full-time caregivers, and are able to assure that time with their older loved one is meaningful and high-quality. Older residents are glad to return to the role of family matriarch or patriarch and often pleased that their grown children no longer have to “parent the parent.”

home and community care November 5, 2017 at 11:51 pm

Very interesting story. I may research more about rituals.

home and community care December 27, 2017 at 2:41 am

My neighboring house kid has that kind of ways. It’s just weird from my perspective.

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: