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Do you want to create family memories that will last a lifetime? Do you want a relationship with your kids that is real and deep?
Perhaps you didn’t realize this is the key to your child’s success. If you have a deep relationship with your child, he will be less likely to stray from your family values because of the trust you have built over the years. Also, your child will not want to hurt you with his bad choices.
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The problem is most of us have a crazy schedule. We are too busy with work, sports, school, and even church to create family memories.
What is discouraging is the time you do have together is mostly spent in the car, eating, or watching something with a screen.
What if I told you there is a way to multiply your time and create family memories that are meaningful despite all the distractions?
Making time for family is nothing more than adjusting your schedule and changing a few family habits. Family habits can slowly be added over time by being smart with the time you do have together.
In fact, it will become effortless once you do it for a period of time. Your kids may even remind you when you don’t do it!
In this post, I am going to give you some suggestions to create family memories even though you have a crazy schedule. And, by the way, it works because I did it with my family!
Why Are Family Memories Important?
Family memories are important because it is during those special times that you develop a relationship with your kids. And a good relationship is the foundation of a healthy family.
In the early years of my parenting, I would find myself frustrated (more like exasperated) because we had been to a lot of places but hadn’t really done anything worthwhile. My children had watched too much TV/screen time, they were constantly fighting, and they weren’t even grateful for the fun stuff we did together.
As a teacher and mom, I knew better than to let things go crazy. We would never bond as a family if I didn’t change things soon. I was not using my time wisely. Duh!
After much reflection, I decided to change some of our family habits so that we would have more meaningful time together. And, wouldn’t you know it, things got better immediately.
Guess what? You can do the same thing as me. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a teacher to do them. It’s easy.
How Do You Make Memories?
1. Set goals.
It is a matter of sitting down and deciding what you want your family to look and act like years from now. I started by looking at how my kids were behaving now, and how I wanted them to behave.
I didn’t want to be oppressive, but I needed to get some structure and direction. If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.
Kids don’t just come out as good citizens and godly people. There is a lot of thought that goes into the process.
The goal was to have fun and, at the same time, develop character, learn new skills, create family memories, and give back to others. It all seemed overwhelming at first, but I knew if I changed a few habits slowly I could make things happen without too much pushback.
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2. Create a family schedule
Sit down with your spouse first. Talk through what you want to include in your schedule. Your schedule may include things like sports, lessons, art, eating together, reading time, nap time, devotional, walks, outings, friends over, volunteer, and free time.
Then talk to your kids. See what kinds of things they would enjoy doing when they are home all day or part of the day. The more they have ownership, the easier it will be to follow it.
The point is to have things to do so your kids don’t default to screens. Leave that for free time or rewards. Check out this link to see a sample schedule.
3. Follow through with your day
This sounds silly to say, but you would be amazed how easy it is to ditch the schedule and let your kids talk you into watching TV, playing video games, or staying on the iPad for hours on end. This will not help you build relationships and create family memories.
It is important to be excited about your schedule, and to stick to it even if there is whining. If you have a stay home job it will be much easier to tell the kids where they need to be and what they need to do. If they are off task, you can redirect quickly.
And then when you take a break, you can do something fun together that you planned. This is a great way to create family memories even when you work.
A schedule will also cut down on the fighting. It really is a great thing!
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Did Creating Family Memories Work?
I can honestly say doing this was the best thing I ever did with family. Both of my kids are now adults. We are still very close to each other because we took the time to create family memories when they were young.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not promising a perfect family. You will still have issues to work through together. The good times you create together will help you have a relationship to fall back on when you need it most–the teen years.
Believe me, when you have a teen, there will be storms. This is when it is most important to keep doing things together as a family. And don’t let them talk you out of spending time together because they will try.
One of my kids wanted to watch TV during dinner instead of sitting at the table. We didn’t go for it. Said child pouted through a lot of dinners. We just kept eating and talking. That was a LONGGG phase.
You can start this plan no matter the age of your children, although it is easier to start when they are younger. You will have less pushback.
It is hard to change some family habits when kids are older. Don’t let that scare you. You will see it is the best thing you ever did as a parent.
How to Create Family Memories-Book
So how do you create family memories in more detail? Perhaps you don’t even know where to start. This is why I wrote a book. It is called Creating Family Memories: How to Make Family Time with a Crazy Schedule.
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It is a short book that can be read in about 3-4 hours. It is designed for busy parents who don’t have a lot of time to read a bunch of fluff. This book explains in detail what I did so you can do the same thing.
It gives the three levels of fun. Kid fun, family fun, and other-centered fun. The book shows how important it is to move past kid fun and move into higher levels of fun as a family.
This is where you get into real bonding, and you learn to create family memories.
From there, I give you several examples of what it looks like in action. Then I give a detailed schedule that can be adjusted to your child’s age.
It doesn’t matter if you work full-time or you are a stay at home mom. Once you understand the concepts and create your goals, you can make your own family schedule.
What do you do to create family memories?
Got Family Problems? There is Help!
Are you experiencing family problems or even estranged? Are you feeling shame, anger, or rejection? Check out my book Estranged: Finding Hope When Your Family Falls Apart on Amazon or at your favorite digital store.
This book not only talks about my seven-year estrangement from my Christian family, but it also gives solid tips to help you with your own family problems. Break free from your pain. Allow God to heal you no matter what has happened in your family of origin. There is hope when your family falls apart.
Join Christian Family Living Facebook Group
Continue the conversation on Facebook and join the group Christian Family Living. This is a place for Christian women to share their experiences and get helpful tools to navigate the Christian life. We love to laugh, cry, and encourage each other to live out our faith one day at a time.