Friday, September 23, 2011

Family Night

Do You Have A Special Tradition?
Family Night is a night you set aside to specifically spend some enjoyable time together as a family on a regular basis. This can be especially valuable for families that have crazy busy schedules, and find it necessary to put family time on the calendar. For some families it even becomes a tradition.

When I was growing up we didn't exactly have a regular family night, but we had a tradition of having a family dinner once a month with my grandparents. Sometimes it would be at their home and sometimes it would be at ours, and once in a while we went out to eat at a fancy restaurant. During these times my brother and I socialized with my parents and grandparents, even when we were quite young. We chatted about what was going on in our lives and the world around us. It seems like there was always plenty to talk about, and plenty to do with getting dinner
ready, setting the table & serving it. Even as young children we were very much involved in the process.

Having a regular Family Night (or day) is a great way to create a tradition that keeps your family connected. It doesn't really matter what your activities are, as long as you are interacting and having a good time. Discussions around the dinner table help kids learn manners and how to be sociable. As my brother and I became teenagers the discussions became more lively as we could share our opinions about current events and express our philosophical viewpoints.

We had a lot of other random family nights when we would go camping (with other families). We did a lot of camping year round so it was regular enough to be a tradition. The important thing was that the kids & adults worked together to set up camp, make the fire, cook meals & entertain each other. Whether we were roasting marshmallows, swatting mosquitoes, or telling ghost stories, we were doing it together and talking to each other. The days were filled with swimming, canoe trips, nature walks, hunting, and other activities and at night we relaxed by the fire, played card games, and made up other games.

I know many families who like to have a weekly family night. If you can do it that often it's a great thing. Sometimes it's hard though as kids are growing up and schedules change. If you have a weekly Family Night you can make it simple; have a pizza party and watch a movie together. That's what my husband and I decided to do when our kids were young and we were both working. We were too tired to do anything else after a long work week.

As kids grow up they might get bored with the pizza & movie routine or lose interest. We switched to playing board games after dinner on a Friday or Sunday once or twice a month. For our family it was hard to keep a regular schedule because everyone had activities & commitments as they got older, and my husband was often teaching or had meetings at night. So for us it was a more informal arrangement.

If you can make a weekly or monthly tradition of doing something together as a family it will help create bonds that will last forever. If it's weekly, keep it simple but make it fun. For example you could make a special dessert together like ice cream sundaes or cookies. You could make pop-corn for the movie and have a more simple dinner a little earlier. If your kids are young, instead of a movie you could all get ready for bed early and then cuddle together in your PJ's reading bedtime stories.

A monthly tradition could be more special since it happens less often. My grandmother used to make a delicious lamb dinner and we would all get dressed up nice to go to her place. My mom used to make something out of Gourmet magazine. We would set the table with linen, lace & candles and use the best china & silverware. There was always a beautiful centerpiece on the table too.

I'd like to share stories each week from different families and what you do to spend special time together. Whether it's weekly, monthly or randomly please share the great traditions you make as a family in the comments or send me an email.

7 comments:

  1. Hello! I'm one of your newest followers from the Friday Blog Hop! I would love if you could return the follow! Thank you so much!
    http://www.mrsgoldilocks.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am LDS (mormon) and was raised that way too. Monday nights are deemed by the church as "Family Home Evening" nights. Usually, we have a religious lesson, a family activity and a dessert that night.

    When I was a kid, we met with my dad's parents and his 5 brothers and sisters and all of their kids once a month (we rotated houses)for FHE. It was always so much fun and we all hold those memories dear in our hearts.

    I'm already a follower on GFC, but I stopped by to leave a comment from MBS's Friday hop!

    www.thegleemansbaby.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi! I'm your newest follower from this weekend's FNF blog hop.

    Would love for you to follow me back:

    http://scrapbookluv.blogspot.com

    :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I agree family night is very important. Growing up my family ate dinner together at least twice a week and once or twice a month we'd do family game night.

    My daughter who is 2 is still too young to really do a game night, but we eat dinner together as a family every night. I look forward to when she gets older and we can continue the game night that my family once had.

    Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  5. We have dinner every night and on weekends as a family. We then get together with our extended family in the area once a week if not more. We think it is very important. Our little one is still a little young for game night but we do spend an hour plus with her doing activities before her bedtime. Love your site. Thank you so much for stopping by mine. I am now following :0)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you so much for the visit and follow during this weeks blog hop. I am happily following you back. I do believe very strongly in family night. We try to have a family night every Monday with a spiritual feel to it. On Friday we have Movie night. We also eat dinner together as a family most nights. Our family time is one of the most important things to me. Hope you have a great weekend. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love family traditions and try to pass them on to my children. Sometimes when the family meets is a little chaotic lol But anyway I like it!. Thanks for stopping by and follow Mommyhood's Diary. Following back.
    Have a great weekend.

    ReplyDelete

I love comments and I'll do my best to respond to them all.