Friday, August 12, 2011

Family Night...

At the Power of Moms Retreat I went to earlier this year we talked about many great ideas about solidifying your family.  What it kind of reminded me of was instead of just viewing your family as "any group"...you view them as "THE group". 
  • A metaphor would be a student at a school verses a student that went "Greek".  No matter what view you have of Greek organizations you can definitely appreciate the BOND they have with each other. 
  • Another example would be an employee of just any company versus an employee of a company that really makes you feel a part of it...so much so that you are PROUD to associate yourself with it.
This really made sense to me...and it made sense that if estabished early with small children that it would create family-centered teens (hopefully that will be true!).

To enhance this bond, mottos, awards, expectations of behavior, financial discussions, rules, special occasions, service ideas, etc. all are discussed and really molded to work for your family "group" (Just like you would for a Greek group or a corporation).  The theme being:  This is what we believe, how we act and what we care about in OUR family.

So...for a start, we have worked on a Family Motto and established a Family Night.

"Family Walk Night" at a local park
On family night you can DO anything...you just have a presence of mind that you are all doing it together.  Almost all of ours don't cost a dime.  Anything you make a big deal about and call it by a special name kids will gravitate towards it.  Examples of our "family night" activities:

"Family Game Night"
"Family Walk Night"
"Family-Play together outside-Night"
"Family-Dance on the porch-Night"
"Family Movie Night"
"Family Swim Night"

I always try and work in some type of confidence booster.  For example, if we were playing games, we may each say something we think is special about the person that wins the game.  Or if we are throwing the ball outside together I'll work in the first "round" that whoever catches the ball has to say something they think is special about the person that threw it to them.

***Reality check.  Sometimes "family night" games can turn sour.  By no means are they perfect.  Whining and bickering WILL happen some (from both children and hubby).  Example:  A recent seemingly fun game of Connect 4 turned into a FREE FOR ALL.  You WILL ask yourself...Why am I planning things for these two little brats?!  But...I'm hoping if I stick with it, the results will show.  As with building anything...it takes time, effort and PATIENCE (Which is a virtue I struggle with and pray for daily!)!***

You can also use this night to compliment when you notice your child use good manners, tell the truth, stand up for a friend, etc.  For example, this week at the library the kids were standing right by me quietly as I took some books back.  In this split second of good behavior (because the trip definitely included some bad behavior that they received punishment for when we got home...and they have been on a LONG restriction from the library from the last HORRIBLE trip we had there), they even received a compliment from the librarian (She probably remembered us from last time and was shocked...they MAY even have a picture of us in the back as "out of control library children to watch"!)!  I'm making little manners ribbons for them to hang on their door.  I'm also making a little responsibility award for Bet for her shoe closet actions.  (Since I am on their case SO MUCH about bad behavior and correction of behavior I think this is especially important for them to see that I do appreciate and recognize the times of GOOD that are speckled in!)

I read this post that I really liked today.  Since our Family Night falls on Tuesdays, I think it is a great idea to incorporate "Back to School" into Family Night this week.  Knowing my love of school supplies.  New Crayolas WILL be involved! :)

What are some of the things you like to do on Family Night?

2 comments:

The Talberts said...

Love your new blog and definitely inspired by your awesome mom-ness. We didn't used to call you "momma sal" for nothing! We've been doing movie nights a few times a week, watching Disney classics three deep in our bed. It's such precious moments, though I do end up having to change my sheets all the time due to popcorn crumbs! Will call you back very soon to catch up! Xoxi

Johanna V. said...

Every Monday night we do Breakfast for Dinner (B4D). The move has been messing with our routine for the past few weeks, but I'm so glad we did it consistently before that. I think having a go-to family tradition that we can pick back up again is something that will help us all adjust to the new house & new town quicker. I'm thinking we need to incorporate a game into our B4D nights . . . or a family walk . . . love your ideas.