3 Life-Changing Ways to Create Family Memories

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Did 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 time together. Also, he will not want to hurt you with his bad choices.

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Family pictures hanging on a clothesline in the yard. 3 LIfe-Changing Ways to Create Family Memories

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!

RELATED: 37 Hilarious Mom Quotes That Will Make You Laugh Out Loud


Who’s In Charge? Not Me!

There was a time in my life when I felt completely out of control with my kids. I felt like they ran the house, not me.

At the end of my day, 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. Sound familiar?

They were in control, not me. Yikes!

As a teacher, I knew better than to let things go crazy. I never ran my classroom this way, so why was I running my home this way?

I was not using my time wisely. Duh! I knew I didn’t want to act like a teacher at home, but I needed a plan each day to accomplish my goals.

After much reflection, I decided to change some of our family habits. 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.

RELATED: The Best Positive Parenting Tips for Moms

Estranged: Finding Hope When Your Family Falls Apart-

 Purchase your ebook or paperback on Amazon or at your favorite digital store. 

Set Goals

The first thing you need to do is set goals. This is not hard.

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.

RELATED: Teacher Secrets to Help Get to Your Child’s Heart

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3 LIfe-Changing Ways to Create Family Memories. Family running together in the woods with the dog.

Make a Flexible Schedule

Next, I created a very flexible schedule for my kids that included things like sports/lessons, art, reading time, and character building. Then I wrapped it in a fun package that included kid fun, family fun, and other-centered fun.

Over time, I saw some amazing things happen to my family.

In fact, my son and daughter started to get along, develop character, and learn new skills. Most of all, we bonded as a family.

Suddenly, I realized this was the way to create family memories that last a lifetime. And it all started with a better schedule and a few goals.

RELATED: Summer Schedule: How to Keep Your Kids From Driving You Crazy

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Creating Family Memories: How to Make Family Time with a Crazy Schedule pin with a little girl in a pink dress running out by water.Best Thing Ever

I can honestly say doing this was the best thing I ever did for my family. Both of my kids are now adults. We are still very close to each other even though they are both in different cities at the moment.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not promising a perfect family. You will still have issues to work through together. But having a deep connection before the problems start (teen years) will help you have something to fall back on when you need it most. Those positive family memories will help keep your relationships intact through the storms.

Believe me, when you have a teen, there will be storms. This is when it is most important to keep doing things 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.

Related: The Most Powerful Parenting Tips (from Successful Teens)

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.  (You can click this link to order it.)

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Creating Family Memories: How to Make Family Time with a Crazy Schedule book that has a picture of a house flipped over.

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.

RELATED: 4 Mind-Blowing Reasons to Be a Stay Home Mom

Making Plans

We take the time to plan our education, careers, vacations, and our day at work, but somehow we forget to plan our time as a family.

With no plans, bad habits can slip into place easily. Before you know it, those bad habits become who you are as a family.

Habits are everything. They can be good or bad habits. Either way, they determine who you are and where you are going in life.

This is your chance to stop an avalanche before it is too late. I pray you will think about who you are as a family, and how you want your kids to act 10 or 15 years from now.

What you do now will determine who they will be later in life. Create family memories and become a strong family. You will not regret it.

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.

Estranged: Finding Hope When Your Family Falls Apart book with a single tree on the book

Creating Family Memories Book

Get Creating Family Memories. This book will help you manage your family in a way that allows more time to be intentional with your kids.  It includes a schedule too. You can get it at your favorite bookstore.

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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.


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  1. Athena on August 6, 2018 at 1:33 pm

    Thanks for sharing! I will save this post for when we expand our family!

  2. Vy Nguyen on August 3, 2018 at 11:55 pm

    Thanks for your tips. My parents are very busy as well. But they do manage to spend time with us. I really appreciate their efforts.

    • Julie pLagens on August 12, 2018 at 10:55 pm

      I am so glad to hear that. It is really important. Good for your parents.

  3. Sophia on August 3, 2018 at 10:11 pm

    Love the idea of setting goals! It is so true!!

    • Julie Plagens on August 12, 2018 at 10:56 pm

      Sophia, yes, goal setting really helps. It will give you direction.

  4. Angie Jelinek on July 30, 2018 at 9:57 pm

    I would never run my classroom the way I too let my house get out of control sometimes. But we can only control so much right??!!!

    • Julie Plagens on July 31, 2018 at 11:37 am

      Yes! It definitely got way too loosy-goosy at home. I guess no one was going to fire me if they didn’t pass their TAKS test. I just wanted to be fun and not have to do the discipline part. Yeah, that just sounds stupid when I write this. I know better. Thanks for reading.

  5. Leslie on July 30, 2018 at 7:19 pm

    When you get older you realize how important family is. My dad passed away in February of this year and I am so thankful for the memories I’ve got that I hold dear. I like the idea of the memory book, that’s a great idea too!

    • jplagens on July 30, 2018 at 8:18 pm

      Thanks! I am so sorry about your father. I am glad your family made good memories. Thanks for reading.

  6. Ashley on July 30, 2018 at 11:34 am

    This is excellent advice! We are potty training in my home and have a two month old, so unfortunately fun has not been a priority lately. :/

    • jplagens on July 30, 2018 at 8:19 pm

      Oh, goodness. I hope you can add some good things in between the difficult things. The toddler years are hard!

  7. Amy @ Orison Orchards on July 30, 2018 at 9:26 am

    I tend to put off fun and memory-making, because it’s extra hard with eight kids! I have to plan ahead like crazy for even just the simplest things, like car rides, so people don’t end up fighting and crying and making me crazy. But I’ve been feeling like I need to prioritize it, and your suggestions here really help. I need your book! 🙂

    • jplagens on July 30, 2018 at 8:21 pm

      Eight kids is a lot. My book has a flexible schedule. It might help you. Truthfully, I bet you could teach me a few things. I bet you homeschool and have a schedule. Good luck! Thanks for reading.

  8. Car on July 30, 2018 at 6:43 am

    Great advice! Taking time for family is definitely a priority in our house.

    • jplagens on July 30, 2018 at 8:22 pm

      Car, I am so glad you take time for your family. Thanks for reading.

  9. Jaclyn Musselman on July 30, 2018 at 6:15 am

    You are right it is so important to push through the challenges and resistance to make it happen! We love our Friday family movie nights. Now that the kids are older, it does not always happen on a Friday but we still try to find a night of the week to have movie night.

    • jplagens on July 30, 2018 at 8:23 pm

      That sounds fun! I bet your kids enjoy this and look forward to time with you. We used to do the same thing many years ago. Thanks for reading.

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