The Importance of Family Fun

It is so ridiculously easy to get lost in busy schedules while raising a family. You and your spouse have so many responsibilities, including work, taking care of the kids and the house, maintenance, bills to pay...the list goes on and on!

By the time you hit the weekend, you're both exhausted and can't imagine wanting to do much. The kids are also wiped out after a long week of school and homework, along with activities. Let's not forget the pull of those screens! We are all guilty of "one more episode" of our latest Netflix binge. Our kids are attached to their phones like it's their job. Tic-Tok, Snapchat and so many other apps are getting their attention every chance they can. So, you're doing your thing and the kids are doing theirs. When does family time happen? This may sound absolutely ridiculous, but I want you to schedule in family fun time! That's right, put it on the calendar in between Thursday soccer practice and Saturdays full of soccer games, swim meets and whatever else is on that day. Pick one night a month to get started and we'll build from there. You may be wondering why this is so important that I'm actually asking you to write it on the calendar. Here's the deal, family fun nights are full of positive results including: 1. Intentional "down" time We are so busy, either doing productive things or scrolling on our screens, that we don't unplug and just relax. Having a block of time scheduled out that you're holding each other accountable creates intentional time away from distractions and focused on each other. 2. Stronger bonds

When families have shared experiences, they also have shared memories later in life. These shared experiences help us to bond and grow as a family unit. It's also a time to interact, encourage each other and even teach each other something new. All of these things create deeper relationships. 3. Developed social skills

Just like family dinners, family fun time allows younger family members to practice skills like taking turns, sharing, and being part of a team effort. Even older family members improve their social skills by learning to be more patient, teaching others, and leadership. Before you begin to feel overwhelmed with "another thing" on the schedule, I want to encourage you to KISS (Keep It Super Simple). Family fun night could include * Board games or puzzles * Making pizzas (on prepared pizza crusts) with lots of toppings for everyone to choose from. * Building reading forts with blankets in the living room * Going for a walk on a new path or shooting hoops Again, keep it SIMPLE! In fact, you could have a family chat during dinner and start writing down everyone's ideas so you have a list to choose from. The most important part is to keep it FUN! Kids love it when Mom and Dad put everything aside and just relax and have fun with them. You'll be building memories that your children will share with their children for years to come. I know this works because our own kids still talk about "Dark and Spooky" woods and laundry basket rides! They are all adults and still treasure those silly family times together. I promise it's worth it! Parenting and Stepfamily Coach, Amy Ambrozich, helps couples get on the same page for discipline and strengthen their parenting partnership so they can lead their family with confidence and consistency. Visit her website at www.daretoparent.com to learn more!

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