Family Night: Make It a Habit
We know we’re supposed to. We know it would help. We know we’d enjoy it. Why don’t we spend more quality time with our family?
Let’s face it: Many times we know what to do, but don’t have a clue about HOW to do it. Here are some practical suggestions about how to develop closeness and connection among family members.
First things, first: Schedule Your Family Nights
Schedule an evening when all the family can be together and then protect the evening from conflicts and distractions. Start by having one a month, then work your way to once a week. Don’t turn on the television, watch a movie, or anything that would minimize conversation. Devote an entire evening (4-5 hours) to family activities such as:
1. Have dinner together.
Instead of eating out, cook at home. Take turns choosing the menu and cooking together. Let everyone have a part of the dinner that they prepare. Occasionally, decorate for special occasions and highlight birthdays and holiday themes.
2. Talk together.
During dinner, involve everyone in both fun and vulnerable types of conversation.
Play the game: Would You Rather? Take turns asking silly questions like:
- Would you rather eat 10 spiders or wear orange every day of your life?
- Would you rather go to school in the Summer or go to the North Pole in the Winter?
Communicate appreciation for one another. Put each person in the “spotlight” and ask each family member to share what they are most thankful for about that person.
3. Play together.
After everyone helps with the dishes, engage in interactive games and activities such as board games, ping-pong, charades, cards, and sports activities.
4. Pray together.
Talk about the concerns and celebrations of the week and then pray together. A good time to do this is around the dinner table. Just expand the normal “prayer of thanks” into a 2-3 minute prayer time. Allow time for every person to pray.
Intimate relationships don’t just happen. They must be cultivated and developed.
So here are some steps of action:
Our next family night is scheduled for______________(date).
The menu for our next dinner together will be ______________________(menu).
We’ll play to ________________________ during our next Family Night together.