Restructuring Family Nights

Jan 13, 2011

When the older two boys were little, we used to have family nights every week. Every Friday. Pizza and movies. Sometimes bowling or miniature golf. As our family has grown and life has become busier, family nights have changed a little. Now, it happens on one of Papa Bear's rotating days off. We still rent movies but it's difficult to find movies that appeal to the wide age range. We also order pizza or eat out on occasion, but feeding seven mouths gets expensive fast. The problem is that is all we do together on a regular basis. We have gotten into a rut and need to change things. I am thinking that we need to break out the board games that have been collecting dust in the closet. I'll have to work on Papa Bear for that one. He seems to have an aversion to games. But we have got to get out from in front of the TV.

The other reason for revamping our family nights is to institute family meetings. While my blog may give the appearance that all is calm, we have been sailing through rough waters lately. We have become so busy that we haven't been enjoying any quality time with each other. Everyone has been feeling neglected. And it is definitely affecting the family dynamics. My hope is that we will be able to clear the air of frustrations and problem-solve during our family meetings. I have been re-reading The Five Love Languages and The Five Love Languages of Children to help myself and Papa Bear make changes and plan on sharing the principles with the boys also.

Over the years, I have collected several books on family relationships and traditions. One of my favorite ideas that I've gotten from them is to create a family mission statement. Stephen Covey gives step-by-step instructions to create your own mission statement and examples of others' in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families. Another book that talks about making a mission statement is Hands-On Faith: Family Nights. It also gives ideas for family night themes and activities, like a blessing jar, family prayer journal, and awarding patches for accomplishments. This last suggestion includes adding the patches to family vests, which I know my boys would not go for, but they may like to have a personalized banner to hang on their door or wall.

"A family mission statement is a thought-out, decisive, united expression of one's family, declaring the beliefs, values, purposes, and principles that they, as a family, have committed to and chosen to live by."
-excerpt from Hands-On Faith: Family Nights

So, tomorrow, I'm spending much of my day getting prepared for our family night. I'm making beef stew and, probably, oatmeal cookies. Papa Bear and M1 have been dropping heavy hints that they've been craving them. After dinner, we'll kick things off with a devotion {appropriately} titled "Who's in Charge?" from The One Year of Dinner Table Devotions. Then, I want everyone to take turns saying something positive about our family before they share the heavy stuff. And I know it's coming. The most difficult part is going to be keeping emotions in check. I'll try to keep my expectations low and my attitude positive. 

Do you have family nights? What do you do? Do you have family meetings to discuss issues? Do you have a family mission statement? 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for the follow! I'm following you now and really look forward to reading more of your blog. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!


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