The best evenings at home with my kids weren’t spent with each of us with our fingers on our phones. They weren’t spent checking Facebook or emails. And they weren’t spent with us staring with glazed over eyes at a TV screen. Rather, the best evenings at home were the nights when we sat around on the floor and played Monopoly; the times we gathered at the table for a game of cards, or when we played kick ball in the back yard as a family.
If you’re technologically savvy, you‘ve heard “Throwback Thursday” tossed about—meaning that Thursday is a day to look back on how things used to be, or to post an old picture from long ago.
I’d like to suggest that maybe we can take this idea a step further and have a “Throwback Thursday” each week in our homes. Here’s what a Throwback Thursday for your family might look like:
1. No electronics.
That’s right. The first thing to do is to put away the phones, the computers, the iPads, and the iPods. Unplug the TV, the video games, the movies, and the radio. Now, it’s time to enjoy some real family time together with a board game or favorite card game.
2. Yes, conversations.
In the busyness of life, we often don’t get the opportunity to simply talk to our families. So take this time once a week to really ask your family how their week is going, how school has been, what good things have happened, and what not so good things have happened. Once you’ve covered some of the basics, you can make the conversation a little more fun with these Kid Conversation Starters.
3. No rushing.
Let this evening once a week be a slow one. Break free of the chains that hold your family to schedules, to commitments, and to extracurricular activities. Instead, relax in the simple joys that come with having a family: a warm home, telling stories, and lots of laughs together.
4. Yes, dinner.
Ronald Reagan once said, “All great change in America begins at the dinner table.” So make eating together at least once a week, and hopefully more often, a habit your family sticks to. On your family’s “Throwback Thursday,” have everyone pitch in to help cook the meal and set the table together. You can make it fancy with your best china and most involved entrée, or keep it simple with paper plates and some burgers and hot dogs. Either way, be sure to enjoy a special dessert together afterwards.
The best way to strengthen the relationships in your family is knowing How to Spend Time with Your Kids. Make this week count and spend time with your family by trying a “Throwback Thursday.”
What are some other fun things you and your family could do together one night a week? You can share your ideas in a comment below.