How We Do Family Night (In 5 Steps)

|by | Intentional Parenting

how we do family night

We recently launched an official family night around our house. It’s on our shared iCloud Calendar, currently set to repeat every Wednesday night into eternity.

I want to share a little bit about what we’re doing as we figure this out, and hear your ideas to create intentional family time as well.

Step 1: Be at home

As mentioned, we put it on the calendar. Wednesday night is family night. This means we consider ourselves “booked” for the evening and unable to make other plans. This is our way of protecting and prioritizing our time together.

Step 2: Dinner together

We start out our evening with a nice dinner together. I try to put a little extra effort into it. You know, maybe not frozen pizza this night.

I try to have this hot on the table when my husband gets home from work. During this time, we eat and talk together and catch up on everyone’s day.

Once done, the kids do some little jobs to help get dinner cleaned up or go play with dad while I finish the job. Then when move on to family devotion time.

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Step 3: Family devotions

While some families do this daily, we took a hard look at our current schedule and determined once a week was what we could commit to consistently.

Life with God isn’t a “once-a-week” deal, so we pray together throughout each day, read Bible stories, and talk about God as a lifestyle. When we do our devotions, we’re able to bring all this living and talking to the table and unpack it as a family.

Devotions include:

  1. Tell a Bible story. We started out trying to read the story in its entirety (from the Jesus Storybook Bible), but this wasn’t working for the ages of our kids (4, 2 and baby). We found that telling a shorter version of the story kept them more engaged.
  2. Talk about the story. We ask questions and explain it a bit more. We help identify who God is in the story apply it to our kids lives, as well as showing them how we’re applying it to ours.
  3. Give thanks. We ask them what they’re thankful for.
  4. Pray together. Each person says what they would like to pray for, then formulates a prayer accordingly. This way our kids get to hear our hearts as we take our personal concerns to the Father. We do keep these short though.

Step 4: Gratitude and affirmation

i read a post by Ashley of Little Pieces of Ordinary last year that stayed with me. She talked about how they use a marble jar to affirm and thank one another.

So, that’s what we’re doing!

We want to give our children opportunities to practice and experience affirming one another and showing gratitude. And my husband and I want to be intentional about calling out and praising the good that we see in them regularly. Not to flatter them, but to point out good choices they are making or ways they have served.

Step 5: Have fun!

No TV comes on, but we have fun. This usually amounts to my husband throwing pillows and chasing the kids around for the last hour of our evening while they giggle uncontrollably, which is about the same as every night. 🙂

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As they get older, it may mean playing a game. In nice weather it may mean going outside with them. Whatever we want to do!

Do you do Family Night? If so, how do you structure it?

how we do family night FB

4 Comments

4 Comments on How We Do Family Night (In 5 Steps)

  1. Rachel
    July 27, 2015 at 6:33 AM (2 years ago)

    Since our schedule tends to be more erratic, unfortunately our family nights are rather unplanned right now. If we find ourselves able (not visiting family) they happen on a Saturday night. We usually make a “fun” meal like tacos or personalized pizza because the kids enjoy having a hand in that. Then we play games or work on a model until bedtime and then the Man and I get special time together. As far as bible study and prayer, we shoot for a daily ritual so that we can teach our kids to have a passion for Christ and think about integrating him in all areas of life!
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    Reply
    • Katie Bennett
      August 1, 2015 at 8:53 AM (2 years ago)

      Sounds fantastic!

  2. Maria
    September 15, 2015 at 3:08 AM (2 years ago)

    My husband and I have chosen to invest in good board games as a way of spending time with our children and making good memories. We bought one called Lost Puppies, from the Peaceable Kingdom company. It’s a simple, cooperative game which my husband and I and our five-year-old really enjoy. Even my 22-month-old daughter can kind of help play, and she loves it. We hope to get more of Peaceable Kingdom’s games.

    Reply
    • Katie Bennett
      September 16, 2015 at 4:50 PM (2 years ago)

      Board games are something I’d like to get more into now that our kids are a bit older. Thanks for the heads up on these games!

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