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Monday, November 22, 2010

My friend Jody has held "family night" for years.  Two of her three children are grown and married, and family night continues.  I've always admired her family's commitment to this tradition, but years ago I secretly wondered why it was necessary.  That was when my kids were small ... now I know.

Family night was every night when my children were younger.  We've always eaten dinner together, with a very flexible start-time, anywhere between 5:30 and 7:30.  Even later if someone was busy.  Though "experts" say eating earlier is better, an occasional dinner at 8:00 was an investment in our together-time.

That worked great until ...

high school ...
sports schedules ...
Young Life ...
worship practice ...
college ...
jobs ...
fiance ...

Now I get the concept of a dedicated family night.  For us, it's become Sunday.  We've also incorporated a review of the coming week into our time together.  With two cars and three drivers, we've gotten into some frustrating pickles with expectations of who should get the car.  (Is there something in a 17-y-o brain that thinks a truck is his?)

It's my prayer to continue this for years, so it becomes a return to Sunday Dinner.   With lots of family and friends around the table, maybe even grandchildren one day ... but I get ahead of myself.  I still have teenagers.

We don't have a firm format for our nights together.  We love games, so that's a possibility.   But I'd love to hear from you.  If you've got older kids, or know someone who does, what types of activities work?  I'm open to all ideas. 

And, this Monday morning before Thanksgiving, I'd like to give away a two cute photo album/easels by Mary Engelbreit to one commenter at random.  You can keep one for yourself and give one away. 

So post a comment with an idea for family night with older children/adults, and make sure I have a way to contact you.  I'll announce a winner on Wednesday.

And if you want to know what I"m serving for Thanksgiving Dinner, visit my other blog http://www.herorganizedlife.com/

In His Love,
Glynnis

9 comments:

Trish said...

I love Family Nights. We don't have a set one, but we try to do it at least once a week. Movies & Board Games are always good. I usually make something easy, like chili and then we just hang out, having fun. We like Trivial Pursuit around here. We have different versions, and usually pull the question cards from the Disney version for the kids, while the adults answer the harder ones. Twister's always good, too. Especially if Mommy gets to be the "card spinner" [evil chuckle]

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of family nights. With two teens it is tough to do. I look forward to the ideas that will be shared! mheard11@frontier.com

Amy DeTrempe said...

We used to have a family night with the children but they are older now and it is impossible to get us all together once a week because the oldest is now married, living in a different city and she and her husband work different shift. My husband and I are also on different shifts and one daughter is gone most nights with theater and school and the youngest is in high school. We are slowly developing into monthly Sunday dinners. This is what we do at my mothers, with her children, our spouses, children, their spouses and grandchildren. We all keep connected that way no matter what time year and I see this happening with my own family as they kids get older. It may not be the weekly thing, but the once a month Sunday can be just as wonderful.

Terry said...

When our daughter was younger we had family night every Friday night that in the Summer meant time spent at the park with a picnic, fishing with Daddy and playing on the swings. Now that our daughter is married and has a two year old daughter (with another baby on the way) we all have dinner together most Sunday's after church. I see them making family time a priority and that blesses my heart!

Jess said...

I have to admit, we are a movie family. We so enjoy watching films and then discussing them. Still do this when we are all together. Praying that somehow our Gracious LORD will bridge the physical distance between our kids in Kentucky and our lives in Florida.
Thanksgiving Blessings to you and yours! ((HUGS)) Jessica

mary lynn said...

My kids are still little and our family nites are easier to implement. But my aunt did something with her teen and now adult and married daughter that I thought was fun- Sunday evenings my aunt would lay out all kinds of sandwich ingredients- and the sandwich and pannini makers - everyone just created whatever kind of sandwich they wanted - heated or not- It was fun to see what creations people came up with and then name the sandwich-- In summers she would add a salad of some kind and the winters - soups would be added. Desserts, too! The times I was there we just sat around the table and talked about things. Sometimes the guys and some girls would end up watching a baseball or football game with my uncle. It was a great that time you could be comfortable and at home with one another with no other distractions or scheduled activities. The key for them was that it was intentional. It was a set time each week - Sunday evenings were easier for them as most of the teen events were done by 8ish or they did it earlier before heading out like at 5-- But it was time set aside -even if it is for an hour or 2. I am sure it was hard but it was worth some great memories for me and it made an impression on me that I would like to do with my kids when they get older.
By the way, they still gather on most Sunday evenings together but now there are 3 grandchildren ranging from 15 down to 6. Good food is still part of the evening but just being together is the most important part.

DeenafromIowa said...

We usually do board games or dominoes. I also have plenty of snacks (teenagers are always hungry) It is much harder to get everyone together with two in college out of state and two in high school but we do try with who ever is home and if the girls have friends over we have them join in too!

Cynthia said...

We enjoy watching a movie. At the dinner table something goofy normally happens so we are laughing it up! Last night was one such occasion!

KelliGirl said...

Glynnis,
I really relate to the challenge of family night. My kids are teenagers and it's really hard for all of us to be in the same place at the same time. One thing we do regularly is Sunday breakfast. We either go out to eat or make a big spread at home. I never thought about this being our family night, but I think it is. Plus, who says "family night" actually has to be at night?