December 19, 2011
Quirky, Flourishing Families
“Happy families do a lot of things better than most, including specific, quirky rituals that the family counts on for emotional stability,” says Caroline Adams Miller, a best-selling author and life coach. “These rituals wind up being a thread from one generation to another.”
In flourishing families, nutty uncles and eccentric grannies all have a place at the table, Miller says. Kids who grow up accepting idiosyncrasies feel more comfortable expressing their own differences and have a happier, more open outlook on life.
Rites of passage in just such a family aren’t humdrum, card-sending occasions. Instead, Miller says, these families come up with their own celebrations—gathering around food to celebrate a teen’s first driver’s license, a “car mitzvah,” perhaps, with a goofy passing of the keys from one member to the next, each telling stories about their craziest driving experience until they ceremoniously place the keys in the teen’s hands.