Today is BFBN blog swap day. I’m over at Wiley Adventures posting about how to foster friendships via an in-home bible study and Valerie from Chronicles of a Babywise Mom is here posting about keeping a consistent Family Night.
How to Have Consistent Family Time Each Week
by Valerie Plowman
Something our family does each week is set aside one night a week that is for our family. This is not easy. It has to be a priority for us to make it happen. It is so worth it though! I have noticed when we do this, we have more harmony in our home. The children get along better and are also more obedient to us, their parents. I have gone so far as to advise parents with a very disobedient child to give this a try for a month and see what changes. The changes are always there, and always positive. Here are the steps to get you on your way.
Enlist the Children
Children love this time spent with each other. Sit down with your children and tell them the plan. Tell them how frequently you want to do this family time and what you will do each time. They will be so excited! If you forget, your children will ask you about it. Children are great to keep parents accountable for goals.
Set Aside a Day
Pick a day that you can do this each week. For us, that is Monday evening. You can pick any day that works for you. You might find that your schedule is too variant to dedicate the same day each day to it. Don’t give up on the idea! If this is your situation, simply get together each Sunday, look ahead at your week, and schedule what day you will do your family night. You only need 1-2 hours. Make sure you put it on your calendar and respect that appointment as you would with any one else. Your children need and deserve your time more than any other meeting or event that might come up.
Have a Format
Involve everyone in this evening. Decide what you want to do each time. We incorporate some gospel teaching to our family night. We have a song (we sing a hymn), opening prayer, lesson, activity, treat, and closing prayer. There are six of us in the family and six aspects to our evening. We rotate who is over what each week. That way, each person gets a turn choosing the activity and giving the lesson. Decide what your format will be and involve everyone somehow. You don’t have to have as many jobs as you have people if you can’t think of enough. Just be sure you have some and that you rotate each week.
Activities don’t need to be pricey nor fancy. 99% of the time our activities are things we can do for free at or near our house. The last time we did family night, we played a family game of soccer in our backyard.
Do your very best to have this each week. Like I said, the same day each week is ideal. You might have to change which day it is quarterly or so. Maybe one day works well this summer, but won’t work this fall. At that point, pick a new day. If you miss one week, don’t give up on it! Just do it the next week.
Family time is that simple! Give it a try and pay attention to the benefits that come your way after instituting this in your family. You will make great memories that you will all cherish for years to come!
Valerie is the mother to four and blogs at BabyWiseMom.com.