We did, however, enjoy family time and always had at least one evening where we didn't go out, no one was allowed to go to a friend's house, and we spent the evening doing something together. It might not have looked as planned as it sounds.

Most of the time it was simply making pizza and/or popcorn at home, and renting a movie to watch together or playing games, but we enjoyed our down time together building our family traditions in the process. What could you do to instill an environment of peace within the family? Little things can make a big difference in our families, such as:

  • Turning off the television at dinner time.
  • Finding times to really talk with family members – "parallel" conversations with teens during a drive to or from school or shopping can be non-confrontational, and encourage a more free-flowing discussion.
  • Playing board games or backyard play as a family.
  • Creative time together – such as reading aloud, drawing.

None of these ideas needs to take long. Setting aside even 30 minutes to an hour once a week is a start. And texting one another doesn't count. While technology may be an important way of staying connected with friends and extended family, your family at home needs your 'face' time, too. When my daughter was in college, she and her roommate continued the tradition of a "family fun night."

I don't know how it figured in to their grades, but the relationships they developed over the time of including this down time in their schedule have remained, long after they have all gone their separate ways. Families can grow their relationships in a similar way, working, playing and praying together.

What other ideas have you had, or have you thought of today that you might like to try? What dreams do you have for family time together, that would instill a greater bond between you and your family?

Thank You for giving me the gift of life; my child,
the greatest human love I will ever know.
You are here with me,
always putting my child's needs first.
You are here with me,
duplicating my education, wisdom, and emotion.

It is Your will to leave life's prints,
on the generations You give forth.
Forgiveness that comes naturally.
Seeking within for all answers.
Knowing that the universe respects a pure heart.

I am humbled by the experience of following my heart
in moments of joy and inspiration.
Thank You for giving me the gift of life; my child,
the importance of being called Mom.



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