Friday, December 30, 2011
Family Fun Night
When our children were little we would have a family photo album night on New Years Eve. We would look through the pictures of the past year and remember all the good times we had. Sometimes this would also lead
into comments like, "oh yeah, right after that photo you (did something or said something)". Many different types of memories would come up from each persons point of view. This became an opportunity to not only remember the good but also to air any grievances, or simply laugh about our silly squabbles.
After this we would share some goals or aspirations for the next year. As parents, we tried to make our goals realistic and attainable so we could give our children an example of being able to accomplish goals. When they were really young we would help them make goals, such as learning to tie shoe laces, etc. Before bed we would have a family prayer thanking God for everything, for being able to learn and grow and be together. Regardless of whether you have a faith or not, everyone can agree that there are many aspects of life that we have no control over, so expressing gratitude for the year that has past is a way of affirming the value and goodness that is inherent in life.
As the kids got older we would let them stay up and watch the fireworks, or watch the ball drop in Times Square on TV. Teenagers may eventually want to go to New Year's parties, but hopefully they will choose their friends wisely, and after having a strong family tradition of reflection, they will think seriously before doing anything stupid. We can't control everything our kid's do, but we can give them values, a good example, and a way to begin again and make new goals to do better.
Posted by Cheryl Roth