What if you could lead your family differently? Teaching biblical values in the moment as Deuteronomy 6:7 encourages not later lamenting another missed chance? Making memories together rather than watching others? You can.

God desires that difference with you. Take a few suggestions, a little planning, some creativity, calendar it, and add ample prayer. Following are twelve simple ideas that can each take about an hour as part of a dedicated weekly or monthly family time.

  1. Hidden words. Quick: Name a few random pieces of information you know! See. You can memorize. Now name a few biblical principles you wish your family lived better. Find a Scripture for each principle for the whole family to memorize together. Use games and activities to learn. Have fun. Start the new year off right by starting with this habit. Check lifeway.com, awana.org or familylife.com for specifics on Scripture memory and help with many suggestions to follow.
     
  2. Precious memories. Our kids love to hear our family stories. Stories of life before them - Did Daddy really say, “my pulse might be kinda high,” when he met Mama? Shared stories - When Mama gave you one Nutty Bar instead of “thank you” you said, “Give me the other one!” Photos and videos up the enjoyment. Include grandparents and others for even more fun. What a way to teach values, pass down family history, and enjoy simple pleasures.
     
  3. Lights. Camera. Action! Where’s the popcorn? Not the movie night you expect. This is make your own movie night. Plan. Write. Rehearse. One take or more. Edited or raw. You might even post your video online and invite friends to view it. Everyone in the family should play a part on camera. Be original or re-enact something you know. Let the kids take the creative lead. Be as silly as you can. You will be making memories that last.
     
  4. Short Circuit. This is a no electronics allowed occasion. A good, ol’ fashioned game night. Well, maybe you can allow Operation - that buzz startles everyone to chuckle. Cards, board games, dominoes and the like teach rules, communication, fairness, and problem solving. Once the games begin conversation and laughter always flow.
     
  5. Junk Out. How long have you been thinking, “I need to get rid of some stuff”? This is spring cleaning even if it’s not springtime. Make it fun. Offer prizes for: thought that was lost; hasn’t been used in the longest time; most likely to be sold in a garage sale; item that Sanford & Son would refuse. Clean out. Bless others with your unneeded stuff. Enjoy working together.
     
  6. Preacherless Worship. “I couldn’t preach my way out of a paper bag.” Or, “I can’t carry a tune in a bucket.” Those are common - except for the paper bag phrase - refrains. Age appropriate activities and discussion to teach a biblical truth are really what family worship is. It is not three points and a poem. Consult the websites in #1 and other resources for assistance. Prepared in just a little time, you can make a huge impact.
     
  7. Kids Rule. That’s right. A role reversal night. Kids make the rules. They also make supper. Clean up. Plan appropriate, God-honoring family activities. And get to read their parents a bedtime story. This could be a real night to remember. Set boundaries ahead of time. Give the kids a few days to plan. You might be kind enough to buy any food or activity items for them. And you can add that amount to the allowance they will be paying you, right? See how much fun you will have.
     
  8. Spell love. Christ followers should spell love S-E-R-V-E or T-I-M-E or G-I-V-E. Love is a verb. Let’s make sure our kids know that as they see it in our actions. We can experience love alongside one another. Where can you serve together as a family? In your hometown. On a mission trip. A nursing home. A local charity. Your church. The family that serves together stays together.
     
  9. Hometown safari. Big game hunts, no. Active adventure, yes. My family is blessed to live in a great family city. lincolnsafari.org, with the motto “healthy families play outside,” is one of many reasons. It is a citywide, family friendly scavenger hunt. In the absence of a preplanned safari where you live, you can use this idea to create one for your family. Or share this with your local parks department. Get outside and enjoy.
     
  10. Story time. When our kids were younger we read to them all the time. Why did we stop? Maybe now we can have them read to us? You might read Bible stories or appropriate fiction books. One family we know reads Christian Hero biographies (ywampublishing.com) together every night. They learn biblical values as they see faith in action.
     
  11. Home for the holidays. What a joy to use your home to share the Gospel during holidays. We have been so blessed to invite neighbors and friends into our home every holiday we can. The kids look forward to help prepare and participate, especially since we have guests. Advent, Easter and Thanksgiving make it easy to share the Gospel. The summer, civic holidays are great opportunities as well. Who doesn’t like a cook-out or a block party?
     
  12. Say No. One final suggestion. Really a question. What do you have to say “no” to in order to say “yes” to suggestions like these? Good is often enemy of best. The many good things your family is involved in may prevent you from doing the great things God intends. Rely on prayer. Seek discernment to know your good from God’s best for your family. Once you know, obey.

You might try one of these out and get the family veto, “Not for us.” Or maybe you’ll get thumbs up from everyone in discovering a new monthly - even weekly - practice for your family. You won’t know until you try. What are you waiting for?

This month's article comes from my new friend Aaron Householder. In his words...

Aaron Householder loves being a Daddy and his SuperMama wife, Melanie, makes it easy. They live in Lincoln, Nebraska with their three cool kids (10, 7, 4) where Aaron pastors. High pulses and Nutty Bars are just two of the slice of life lessons you’ll enjoy at aaronhouseholder.net.

 

 

Posted
AuthorBoomer Roland
easy-button.png

I was having coffee with a friend of mine, a dad of two young children. He said,

"My kids know just what buttons to push to make me angry."

With little effort, most of us can list four or five things our kids do that make us lose our temper. The reason we can identify them easily is because they recur regularly or even daily. And, as a result, many of us have developed a response routine that includes anger, yelling and frustration.

My friend and I have our lists and we are both prone to responding with anger and frustration. So we are determined to change our routines. The first step is making a list of "button issues." The second step is working out a plan for each item before it happens again.

For example, if your child likes to use the couch as an Olympic style trampoline and that violation lights your fuse, plan ahead. First, add "jumping on the couch" to your button list. Second, imagine your child bouncing away. How will you respond?

Your response should include these steps:
1. Calmly remind yourself that you anticipated this would happen. Remember you have a plan.
2. Get close to your child by calling them to you or going to them.
3. Calmly (no need to get angry because you anticipated this and you have a plan) remove your child from the couch. Ask, "______, we have talked about this many times, what are you doing wrong?" If your child takes responsibility, move on to the next question. If they say, "I don't know" remind them of the rule and re-ask the question. If your child refuses to answer or take responsibility, have them take a break until they are ready to talk about it.
4. After your child takes responsibility for his actions, ask, "Why is that wrong?" Before you ask this question (in your planning process) be sure you know the answer. For example: I was disobeying mom and dad or I wasn't showing respect to others or property.
5. Next ask, "What should you do instead?" If your child doesn't know, be ready to teach by giving her suitable alternatives i.e. you should jump on the trampoline, not the couch.
6. End the discussion by saying, "OK, go on and try again." This statement releases your child to a future that isn't marred by mistake. They get a "do over" to make better choices.

Few of us learn something the first time. Often lessons have to repeated. For example, how many speeding tickets have you received in your driving career? Like us, our kids will repeat their mistakes. But by walking through these steps each time, eventually  they will be armed with the skills to evaluate their choices and avoid making the wrong ones.

At the same time, we will reduce our anger because we'll have a plan when correction is needed.

Want more on this subject? Check out Good and Angry by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller.

Posted
AuthorBoomer Roland

When our daughter was 3, the bedtime routine tended to last a long time. She would sing the "thankful song", adding the names of people (and animals) she thanked God for. She tended to add all the people and animals she could remember...every night.

We deeply desired for our kids to remember how God showed his faithfulness in answered prayers.

 

Posted
AuthorBoomer Roland

When was the last time you found your schedule shifted by a snow day? At first an unexpected day with school-aged children at home can seem like an unwanted burden. After all, how will you get all those tasks on your list finished with your kids tugging at your attention?

Posted
AuthorBoomer Roland

When I was young my parents would gather us around the dining room table after breakfast and before the bus arrived to carry us to school. While they were reading scripture and doing their best to help us understand it, my brother and I were trying to stay awake. None of us 

Posted
AuthorBoomer Roland
Categoriesfor parents
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