Love your family. Spend time, be kind & serve one another. Make no room for regrets. Tomorrow is not promised & today is short. – Unknown

Family 3

The past 5 weeks of this series have been primarily about living intentionally as a person, but this week our focus shifts to living intentionally as a family.

Sometimes we take our family for granted because they’re always around.  We see them all the time.  They’re under the same roof.  They share our food and drink out of the milk carton.

But much of the time of family time is… unnoticed.  Instead of sitting and talking, we stare at screens.  Our larger houses let us be under the same roof without interacting, and our lives keep us so busy we barely have time to sit down at all.

These days you have to plan to have family time.  It has to be a priority, or it just doesn’t happen.

Be intentional.  Don’t wait for an evening when everyone is free.  Those are few and far between.  Plan your time.  Schedule it.  Write it on your calendar.

Make it part of your routine.  It’s easier to make time for family when it’s a regular part of your schedule.  Sure, you can add fun things when they come up, but if Wednesday is always family dinner night, then everyone knows not to plan anything on Wednesdays.

Keep it simple.  Quality time doesn’t have to be a big thing.  Sometimes it’s just a conversation over a cup of hot chocolate.  There’s no need to put a ton of time, effort, and money into spending time together.

Enjoy it.  Going along with the last point, make sure that what you do is something you can enjoy.  An evening where one family member spends the night in the kitchen making the next course, or in the garage building the thingamajig instead of enjoying your time together isn’t quality time.

Put away your phones.  I can’t stress this enough.  Quality time requires interaction.  Period.  Watch a movie and talk about it.  Play a video game and talk before, during and after.

Need some help?  Here are some things you can do as a family to get time together, to appreciate and connect with each other.

Get out.  Spending time outside is a great way to bond as a family.  Sunlight and fresh air are natural mood enhancers, so what better way to spend time together?

Go for a bike ride.  Go to the park.  Have a picnic.  Have a backyard campout.  Play sports.  Tend a garden.  Go for a hike or walk.  Splash in puddles.  Go swimming.  Kayak or boat together.  Check out a local historical site.  Go for a drive

Stay in.  Sometimes staying in is the best (or only) option for working families.  So get in your comfy clothes and have some fun!

Cook and eat dinner together.  Game night.  Look at old pictures.  Craft.  Scrapbook.  Make something for the house.  Have a book club.  Do a puzzle.  Work out.  Minute to win it activities.

Assignment: Spend time with your family.  Plan a family night this week.

Next week: Making Choices as a Family

Family 1