While family life has conspicuously changed in the past fifty years, it would be a mistake to conclude that family routines and rituals have lost their meaning. In this book Barbara H. Fiese, a clinical and developmental psychologist, examines how the practices of diverse family routines and the meanings created through rituals have evolved to meet the demands of today's busy families. She discusses and integrates various research literatures and draws on her own studies to show how family routines and rituals influence physical and mental health, translate cultural values, and may even be used therapeutically.
Looking at a range of family activities from bedtime stories to special holiday meals, Fiese relates such occasions to significant issues including parenting competence, child adjustment, and relational well-being. She concludes by underscoring the importance of flexible approaches to family time to promote healthier families and communities.