When I was growing up, my family was a religious household (Mormon) that focused on keeping the family close. We were taught that family comes first. We were told that you do for the family before you do for others. We had a set day of the week that we would all gather together and do an activity. This was a required gathering. My Parents believed that these nights were crucial to keeping the family unit strong. We would use these nights to get to know each better through; games, movies, outings, and even dinners. These were the nights that were to be free from arguments, discussions on bad behavior, and sibling fighting. These nights were designed to be Fun and loving. I hated them when I was a Teenager. I saw them as a forced event that kept me from doing what I wanted with my friends. Now that I am older and a parent, I have come to realize that these nights are essential. They bring the Family together and provide a feeling of Safety. They are also a Supportive environment. I try to use my Family nights to strengthen the bonds with my Family. I use the nights to get to know each other better through Discussions and Play. They are used to build Trust for one another. I also see Family night as a way, to make memories, tackle issues before they get out of hand, and to let them know you support them. Now that you know why I support Family nights, Let’s see what Doctors have to say. Will they support them? What reasons do they have to support their urges to do a Family night?
The goal of every parent is to raise a happy and well-adjusted child.
Children from birth to adulthood need time and attention from their parents.
Doctors reasons for family night
The importance of this time is multifold:
Multiple studies reveal that children are much more likely to develop emotional and behavioral disorders when they receive inadequate or poor parenting.
- The child feels important and loved.
- He or she has an opportunity to model
- The parent can observe and learn about the child’s strengths and weaknesses. This information aides Parents in guiding their children.
- The child has a chance to voice their thoughts and feelings.
- The parent and child Develop a stronger bond.
Activities that will promote happy and healthy children are innumerable and don’t have to be expensive or difficult to access. The key is to give the child your full attention and vice versa.
- Family meal time. This could become a family event from the selection of the menu, preparing the food and table, serving, eating together, and cleaning up. During the meal, children and adolescents can be encouraged to talk about what is interesting to them, and not necessarily the usual topics like school and work.
- Homework. If parents can spend positive time with their children without conflict, this can be a good bonding experience where the school work itself is just a means to the end.
- Sports. Whether it is playing catch in the yard, going to the gym, or watching the child play or perform, active and positive involvement is rewarding.
- Hobbies such as drawing, crafts, collecting are great fodder for conversation.
- Board games and cards allow for the family to relax and enjoy each other’s company.
- Extracurricular activities such as Girl/Boy Scouts, 4H, or the debate team, can be a great opportunity for bonding.
- Religious activities.
- Shopping with the family can make a simple chore an event.
- Attend a concert or show together.
- Go to the theater, watch television, or rent movies. By watching some shows your child enjoys, you will learn more about him/her and can use the topics brought up for more interesting discussions.
- Outdoor activities such as hiking, walks, bicycling, picnics, or camping.
- Attend school events together.
- For younger children, get in the habit of reading to them. For the adolescent, ask what book they are reading and then read it yourself. In both cases, engage the child in a discussion about the book.
Citation: Fernandez, Gail. “Importance of Family Time on Kids Mental Health and Adjustment to Life -.” Child Development Institute, Parenting Today, LLC, 5 June 2013, childdevelopmentinfo.com/psychology/importance-of-family-time-on-kids-mental-health-and-adjustment-to-life/.
Why Family Game Night Is Important
Why Family Game Night Is Important
- Game nights connect family members to each other. We are living in a time of
increasinglyindividual and solitary activity, with each member of the family going his own way to pursue individual interests. As electronics have become cheaper, it’s no longer unusual for children to have their own TVs or computers. With on-demand TV, families no longer have to watch the same shows at the same time. An hour or so a week of family time playing together helps reconnect everyone.
- Games teach important life skills. To win a game, one must follow the directions, take turns, be patient, and stay friendly with the others around the table. Many games require us to strategize, to read others’ nonverbal cues, and to learn from our own errors. Regular game nights give kids practice in these essential skills and provide immediate feedback about what works and what doesn’t.
- Games teach good sportsmanship. Kids aren’t born good sports. They tend to gloat when they win and whine when they lose. Most kids try out cheating at least once. Games provide opportunities for kids to learn that honest winning feels better and makes better relationships than cheating. They provide a forum for teaching children how to be gracious winners and good losers.
- Playing together fosters family communication. As kids get older, the in-between times become the times when the most important conversations occur. Kids are more likely to share their thoughts and feelings when they are doing something else. The times between turns, between hands of cards, between
gamesare fertile ground for casual sharing of sometimes not-so-casual information.
- Family game nights are the stuff of positive memories. Families that can have fun together on a regular basis create an emotional “bank” of good memories and positive feelings that can be drawn on when times are hard or when family members are apart.
Involve your kids in choosing and purchasing a few games and a deck of cards. When kids are involved in choices, they are more invested in trying things out.
- Set a regular day and time. If you can’t do it every week, try every other. Mark it on your family calendar. Don’t let other activities interfere. Even if everyone can’t participate, play with those who can. Making family time a priority communicates that the family is important.
- Eliminate distractions. Put a circle of specialness around the hour or so of game night. Turn off the TV. Let your answering machine answer the phone. Ban cell phones from the room. (There are few calls, texts, and tweets that can’t wait an hour to be answered.)
- Make sure everyone can play. Choose games that are suitable for everyone in the group. If you have a multi-age family, pair up younger kids with older ones; give little kids a role; alternate an easy game with a harder one.
- Keep it fun! If you’re not naturally a person who loves games, focus on the fact that you love your family and get into the spirit of the thing.
- Get the adults to curb their own competitiveness if it gets in the way of fun. There is more going on in family game night than winning and losing. Family Game Night should be a time that everyone enjoys now and will remember warmly in the future.
Citation: Hartwell-Walker, Marie. “Family Fun in a Box.” Psych Central, 8 Oct. 2018, psychcentral.com/lib/family-fun-in-a-box/.
Ideas for a great Family night:
Here are some of the things I have done with my Family on Family night that seemed to be big hits. You can always Tweek these ideas and make them into your own.
- Themed Dinner and a Movie: Eat a meal inspired by the Movie you select. I will do a separate post expanding on this one.
- Board Games: make sure these are age appropriate so no one feels left out
- Card games
- Watch old family videos
- View old family pictures together
- Mini Adventures: Day trips
- Dining out at a Restaurant that incorporates Games (Putt- Putt Golf, Arcade, Go-Karts, family fun centers)
- Make a Dinner Together: Allow each person to contribute a part of the meal (Appetizer, side dish, Main course, Dessert, Drinks)
- Family Video game tournament
- Youtube shuffle: Allow each person to select Youtube videos that they find Funny, make a playlist and watch them together (commenting/questions on the videos will allow you to better understand why they picked them)
I hope this Post has given you some ideas that you can easily implement with your Family. I know that it has drastically improved our Family life. My kids look forward to Family night now. At least that is what they tell me. LOL, regardless, I see the change in our Family unit after implementing Family night. They may not see it yet, but it has in some ways changed them for the better.
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