Afternoon tea commonly conjures images of Queen Elizabeth and Big Ben, for me at least. It is a very common English tradition that is not usually observed in the United States. However, I chose to introduce it to my children, and I think it has great benefit.
The Benefits of Observing Afternoon Tea
1) The consistency of ritual.
Children thrive on consistency. It helps them to feel safe and secure. Participating in ritual helps them to feel included and builds self confidence.
2) Teaching Etiquette.
I am using afternoon Tea to teach proper etiquette. Placing a napkin in the lap, eating with utensils, stirring without clanking spoons, not slurping hot tea- I believe these can be important skills for adult life.
3) To Purposefully Take a Break and Be Together.
With ballet and other activities sometimes a family dinner isn’t always possible. However afternoon Tea allows me to sit down with my children and really focus on them and talk with them in a relaxed setting before the evening gets busy.
4) Introducing culture.
Tea is enjoyed as a beverage in many different cultures. Not to mention there are many different types of teas to try and enjoy. I love to hear my children comment on the flavors of Irish Tea with Milk and sugar, Jasmine green tea, chamomile with honey-the list can go on. It expands their knowledge of the world around them, much like trying new cuisine.
I love this little ritual with my children. While it’s relatively new for us, I above all enjoy the time it gives me to just sit and enjoy my children. The days are so busy with lessons and chores, and activities but this lets us take a short break and just be.
For some great tea recipes and ideas, check out some of these great articles from my friends:
Homemade Chai Tea Concentrate by Primally Inspired
The Art of Tea by Like a Normal Person
Look to Nettle Tea… by Life by Jeanie
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