Prime Time Family

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I am sure that you have heard of Prime Time TV. As a matter of fact, I am sure that you don't ever miss your favorite TV program. You make time in your busy day to play couch potato and watch the latest happenings to your "TV friends". If you aren't able to watch YOUR program...NO PROBLEM...just videotape it and you can watch it at a more convenient time. Does that sound like you? Now consider you know the characters on YOUR show better than your spouse, your children?? Oh my, it is time for you to move your family into the PRIME TIME spot of your life. If you aren't a TV watcher please don't tune out here yet, I have some good ideas for all families!

Let's start with time...there are only 24 hours in a day. Once they are gone...they are gone.(I am brilliant aren't I?) So, it is important to make the most of each day. Make family time a priority on the schedule. It can be as simple as eating dinner as a family. Once you master that time commitment then you can be more elaborate and plan family night activities.(more on that later)

Have you ever asked someone what he remembers about his family? I bet he doesn't mention gifts or money that was spent on him. My guess is that he will tell you about family traditions, special trips or games. Don't wait until your children are older to make the memories. Don't wait until you can fit it into your schedule. Make time today. Not only will you start enjoying each other more but you will notice a new music in the house. Arguing, nagging and pestering will be replaced by giggling, interesting discussions and caring conversations. As a family the time that you spend with each other will make you more aware of each other, more sensitive to each one's needs. Stephen Covey writes in his book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families," that these family experiences form an emotional bank account. The bank is filled with memories that each family member can draw from during their lifetime. Every time your family does something together the memory is recorded. The more things you do together the more natural it becomes to remember the FUN events.

Family Night is a great concept to make sure that FUN is part of your family. A lot of families put asside Monday night for their family night. I know some families who have discussion nights where topics range from where should we have our next FAMILY vacation to what should we eat for dinner. You can make family night a learning time "in disguise". Here is a game that you could play: ask your children to wait at the bottom of the steps. You climb to the top. Tell them that if they can come to the top of the steps you will give them each $5. Just as they start up the steps, inform them that there are 2 stipulations: they cannot touch the railing or step on the steps. Let them work together as a team to solve the problem. OK, I will give you sometime to figure out this puzzle...(answer at the end of the article!) You can be just as creative to develop some other scenarios.

Or you can steal shamelessly from some Family Night books that you can find at the bookstore. I like the Focus on the Family- Family Night Book Series that can be found at most Christian Book Stores.

Think of this- you turn off the TV 3 of the 7 nights...WOW! Just imagine the time that you would have together. I recently visited my brother, his wife and their 6 children. They are masters at making Family Prime Time. They have developed easy ways to have fun together. They sing before dinner. Games are played all the time. Charades is a weekly event. Did I mention that their TV set is turned off unless they are watching a movie on family night?

I hope that you are inspired to start building your family memories. Make a commitment to start to do more together. You can start off slowly and before you know it your family emotional bank account will be overflowing. Family traditions are the blocks to make special family moments. So whether you make Saturday mornings cinnamon bun day, plan personalized birthday celebrations, pick berries and make jam, play solitaire every Friday or cook food from different countries once a month, you are investing in the "health" of your family. A healthy family is a happy family.

By the way, I promised an answer to the step game. The children would ask the parent to come down steps and then get on his back and be carried up the stairs! Pretty good huh? The lesson is that you sometimes need the help of someone else to reach your goals!!

Credits: Pamela Caywood

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