Last week, I shared how a simple morning devotional helps me start each day on a positive note with my teens and tweens. In this message, I want to tell you a little more about how I came up with the routine we use today.

As a younger parent, I wasn’t sure how to create a meaningful morning ritual with my family. At first, I tried using a devo format and resources that other people and authority figures had recommended. I found myself reading the books I “should” read to my kids and creating the disciplinarian vibe I “should” create to raise them responsibly.

The result was a mediocre ritual that was not very enjoyable for any of us. 

When I realized this, I started experimenting with new resources and routines. Every time I tried something new, I simply asked whether it created an environment in which my kids felt more safe, inspired, and valued—and whether it was really enjoyable for all of us.

In the process, I found out that the key is to build my family rituals around things my family actually values, rather than only taking cues from outside sources.

(Have you bucked conventional wisdom to create a unique routine that works for your family? Share with the tribe in this Facebook discussion.)

In my family, we value well-being, connection, adventure, and growth. As soon as I began planning our morning devos around these values instead of external “shoulds,” things started to click for all of us.

In my next message, I’ll share a few final thoughts about designing a family morning devo and a list of the books my family has enjoyed during ours. 

Here’s to building family rituals that resonate with our teens and tweens,

James Ure

President, Williamsburg Learning