Thursday, June 24, 2010

Family Day/Night and Making Memories

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Having a set time for your family to have fun together allows you to be a healthy family unit that is strong and capable of loving and nurturing those around you who may not have family or who have maybe NEVER experienced what it means to be a family. Again, I am not saying all circumstances have to be PERFECT to entertain and have people in your home. I justy think that when the family is functioning together, it is very natural to want to share what YOU have with those around you.
Here is our family chart. It may not be practical for you to do it on a weekly basis, but it is an idea for you to get it on paper and to do it. Over the years, we have changed days, changed our style etc. but it is a way for you to create memories for your family together and then some ways for you to make memories by including those around you: Neighbors, co-workers, teachers, friends, new people at church, ones without family, students from a local college, etc.

Family Day/Night

This is the day or night each week that we spend together as a family.
We can use this time to work, play, worship, and grow together.

ACTIVITY: This person gets to choose the family activity for family time.

DEVOTIONAL: This person gets to deliver a family devotional.

SERVANT: This person takes prayer requests during devotions and leads prayer time.

TREAT: This person gets to choose the treat for family time.

"The great value of traditions comes as they give a family asense of identity and belongingness. All of us desperately nned to feel that we're not just a cluster of people living together in a house, but we're a family that's conscious of its uniqueness, its personality, charachter and heritage, and that our special relationships of love and companionship make us a unit with identity and personality." Dr. James Dobson

Children love things that happen repeatedly. These ideas can be kept simple, but they can grow to make a family our case Charlie Brown Thanksgiving the night before Thanksgiving is a FAVORITE! {Jelly beans, opcorn, pretzels etc. for dinner...just like Charlie Brown, but we have added in fish sticks and tater tots!}

THEME NIGHT: Thursday Taco Night, Friday Pizza and Movie Night, Sunday Soup and Salad Night etc. These evenings will give everybody something o look forward to. When situations are crazy and uncertain...a family tradition can be just what the Dr. ordered.

SHARING MEMORIES: There are times when we do not have time to reflect back to how things were when we were young. Our children do not get a chance to hear how things were when we were their ages. Mealtime is a great way to talk about family camping trips, a special Christmas vacation etc. This is also a great opportunity to share a special letter or story you have read recently. If you are having company for dinner, be sure to include them. They will really enjoy this. You will be suprised what others can share.

YOU ARE SPECIAL PLATE: ANOTHER MUST-HAVE! These make creative birthday, wedding, and even baby shower gifts. We use ours all of the time. I would say on a weekly basis. Friends even "expect" it at times. It has really become a fun tradition. We actually have two now. This plate is used when a member of the family ro friend is to be honored, such as Father's Day, Mother's Day, a birthday, after having received a good report card {EVEN A "D"...don't ask!} or after a friend has completed a huge project etc.

DINNERS FOR OTHERS: As a family, we are striving to learn to care more, to love more unselfishly and trying to reach into our community with a compassionate heart. Even if you are purchasing a rotisserie chicken from Costco, taking a bottle of 7 UP to a neighbor with the flu or having your children pick some flowers from the is showing your children how important it is to care for others.

MY SPECIAL DINNER: Once a month, have each child prepare dinneer for the family. Let the child help you shop for groceries and help prepare the food. Use this project as a means for the child to learn about nutrition, about the effort involved in preparing the meal, the expense of food etc. Encourage them to invite company over...their choice! What a great way to teach them at a young age the gift of hospitality. {As young adults they are able to budget grocery money...and do the grocery shopping for us!}

Our budget envelope: Since allowance was not given out to do regular chores etc, but given out as a way to teach our children how to tithe, save, and spend money on birthday gifts etc...we would budget $10 a week for family night. It was fun to see the children "save" together for bowling, miniature golfing, the batting cages, ice cream out etc. This would mean doing something for free until enough money was earned! This was the perfect tool to teach them how to save for family activities as they grow up and have their own families. Our fun outings were appreciated and we loved the memories made even more because they were carefully planned for and made special by the anticipation of saving for them!

Ideas gleaned from my parents, my hubby and from Dobson

Shared with: women living well

1 comment:

  1. YES! I love all things focused on families! We have weekly Friday pizza, pop and ice cream night. Like you mentioned, it gives us all something to look forward to. Especially me! No cooking, minimal clean up, minimal dishes.

    We also have family dinner and impromptu time together during the weeks with a scheduled family date once a month. Our date time is when we go do something together. Can be as simple as a hike or as elaborate as paying to do an activity together. Regardless, we do something intentional... together!

    GREAT topic and post!