Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Never Underestimate Family Time

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A pick-up game of basketball with Grandpa in our backyard

Oftentimes we get so wrapped up in our to-do lists and our schedules that we forget to have good, old-fashioned fun.  Like pick-up basketball games and campfires in the summer or games of Balderdash or putting together puzzles in the winter.  Some of the best times we have had as a family have been these unscheduled, spontaneous times.  Why do we keep ourselves so scheduled that we have a difficult time finding a few minutes to just have fun together? 

One of the best things we have ever done as a family is camping together.  It is a time that all of us get away from the daily grind and just enjoy being together.  We have been camping since our youngest child was about a year old.  Now the kids are ages 13-21 and, believe it or not, they still all love to go along when they can.  That is because we have so many great memories wrapped up in those weekends.  And we continue to make more memories each time we go.

One of the things I struggled with most as a young mom was setting aside my to-do list to just enjoy being with my kids. Looking back, I realize the foolishness of that mindset. My kids are almost grown and I can never have that time back.  Of course, we can't spend every minute of every day doing fun stuff, but let's make time together as a family.  And in that process, don't let your pre-teens be too cool to be with the family.  Ask them to be with you and if their attitude is less than to be desired, just ignore it. Sooner or later, they will come around if you will just keep including them.

We can never, ever underestimate the value of family time. It is part of the glue that keeps our families strong. It is in these moments that some of life's biggest questions come up.  It is in these moments that kids and parents join together in a common cause.  And it is in these moments that we show our kids that parenting is not only about disciplining and scolding but is also very much about having fun!

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