Family Fun NightPosted: February 22, 2013
I truly believe that one very important part of redeeming the home is being intentional about family time. I’m sure all of us would say that meaningful family time is important. But making that happen on a regular basis can be elusive. After all, we have school and work and ministry and sports and music lessons and (throw in the kitchen sink) to keep up with. Add to that a family illness, special event to plan for, moving or any other major life event and quality family time gives way to plain old survival.
So far in my parenting journey, I have found that there’s not much that can replace a weekly family fun night. It fills the quality time, love tank. It becomes an anchor in our week. It makes us lay down all our to do lists and reminds us that we really do like hanging out together!
For us, it’s nothing fancy. Just pizza night, every Friday evening. We come home from homeschool co-op on Fridays, exhausted but in a good way. I retreat to the kitchen and lose myself in soft, stretchy pizza dough. The kids usually play or watch a little TV. And when the pizza is done and everyone is home from work, we come together and chow down. Activities might include playing Apples to Apples Jr., watching a movie or playing Wii.
See–this isn’t complicated or magical. But everyone is off their electronic gizmos. We talk. We laugh. We snuggle on the couch. The secret is in the repetition. There are occasional exceptions. But I’d say 90% of the time, we make it happen.
My kids are sort of in the middle, age wise, right now. I have to urge you, if you have littles, start making these little repetitive family traditions now. I know it can be very hard to pull off a game night or something with babies and toddlers. But it’s worth it. (No matter how much you hate Candy Land.) Because when they get older, they expect it. They count on it. My oldest might spend time during the week gaming with and talking to friends. But I get no arguments on pizza night. I’m hoping that we can keep that going into the teenage years as long as possible.
It really is the little things that add up in their hearts and let them know that they’re more important than your latest deadline or to do list. It’s the rhythm of intentional family time that creates security, opens lines of communication and gives everyone a soft place to land when life gets hard.