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Family Night Basics
Read how other families work their Family Night.


To start, I would say that probably the most important goal in holding a regular Family
Night is to build family unity. If you have a young family, and you don't currently hold
regular Family Nights, then starting them might be a little easier for you, as young
children usually don't have a problem with playing a game and having a snack with mom and
day. If your children are mostly in their teen years, you may find a little more
resistance, but if you are determined to make this work for your family, you can
accomplish this. Just remember, the overall idea is to have this one night set each week
that everyone in your family will know to be family night. This is a night were
television, phone calls, work, or even the best video game is put on hold. Over time, with
your consistant holding of Family Night, your family will learn to plan their own
activities around this special time.

If you are not currently holding family nights, it is important to make it known to your
family just how important this is to you. Set apart a time, in the next week, where you
can arrange a family meeting. Be sure that everyone in your family will be able to meet at
this time, and let everyone know that they are expected to be there. When your
prescheduled family meeting time arrives, expain to your family that you would like to
begin holding weekly family nights. With their help, compare everyones schedules and come
up with one night each week that you can set apart as families special night. Be aware
that in your family, you might always have an obstacle in your way. For example, you
college aged son might tell you that he has no night that would work for him. If something
like this comes up in your family meeting, it is time once again to explain the importance
of your family coming together once a week, and thnights of the week they each of you can
"do your own thing", but this one night is where we put other things aside for about a
hour. Decide what day of the week you will hold your family night, and then determine the
time. After this is all set, be sure to mark on your calendar the day and time of your
family night, so that everyone will have a visual reminder. I would also like to add that
a family night, doesn't have to be held at night. If mornings or afternoons work better
for you, then plan them at that time. The key is here is to have your family night once a
week, every week...exactly when they are, and what you do during them, is totally up to
your own individual family.

I would suggest that is you haven't been holding a regular family night, that they parents
make the decision for the first one as to what your family will do. Of course, this is
just a suggestion, and if you would like, you can assign specific "jobs" from the start.
Here is the assigments we have in our own family night:

Conductor: This person actually conducts the whole meeting. Even our youngest (when he
was 6 years old) does a fantastic job of conducting. The conductor stands up in front of
everyone and thanks everyone for coming to the family night. Since we only have a family
of four, the conductor has the option of offering a prayer, or choosing a family member to
do this. If you have a larger family, you can have some assigned the "job" of offering the
prayer (of if you wish, you can also omit the prayer). After the prayer, the conductor
then goes around the room asking each family member what he/she has planned for the coming
week. At first, my husband felt a little silly doing this considering that they only thing
he ever said was "working"...but overtime, even he has learned to included those little,
yet important things ("Going tosomething. For example, if Mom is giving a mini-lesson on
something, the conductor would say, "Now, I turn the time over to Mom for her lesson".
After each person is finished with their "job", the conductor also thanks the person as

Lesson: The family member that is assigned this gives a mini-lesson (5 minutes or so). In
our family, the lesson is always on some principle. Sometimes the lesson will be about
being kind to our loved ones or other times it could be on charity.

Activity/Game: This is probably one of the most fun parts of family night. The person
assigned to activity gets to choose what the family will actually do together. Sometimes
it might just be a board game or puzzle, or maybe Dad will take the family out to the
garage to teach everyone how to change a tire.

Refreshments: The family member who is assigned
refreshement gets to decide (with the help of mom or dad) what treat the family will enjoy.
Sometimes we have enjoyed a trail mix while playing a board game. Other times, we had
make-your-own-sundaes or homemade cookies.

These are the assignement for our family. We rotate the "jobs" every week, so if you are
conductor one week, you know that the next week you will be lesson. On occasion, we will
skip the whole family night schedule and we will all go out to a movie, or to play
miniature golf. Like I have mentioned before, it doesn't matter what you do, or when you
do it, the only thing that matters is you do it together. Think of what will work best for
your family and do it!

These ideas and tips should help you to get your own family nights started. If you would
ike a family night idea delivered to your email each week, just send a blank email to:

2000 - Brandie Valenzuela
Brandie is the owner and editor of the Family First site. Visit Family First at
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