It’s a new year and a time for fresh starts. Many of us set goals around strengthening families and improving relationships with those we love. Here are three of my favorite- simple- new ideas I’m planning to implement in 2017 to strengthen my family. Of course, they all include making memories together!
Won’t this be fun to look back on previous birthday interviews on future birthdays? The kids will love seeing their younger selves. I predict lots of giggles and laughter as well as a few tears of nostalgia from Mom. And of course, these videos become part of the ongoing family narrative to preserve for posterity.
2. Create a special tradition unique to each family member. This one has to do with birthdays, also. Parenting experts Linda and Richard Eyre promote the importance of building everyday family traditions, and suggest marking each family member’s birthday with a special tradition unique to them. They were keynote speakers at a conference where I taught some classes, and they shared a few of their family birthday traditions.
The Eyre’s birthday traditions have continued and become even more meaningful as their children have grown and started families of their own. What special tradition or celebration could you start on birthdays? Is there something unique to the person or season that would make it meaningful for years to come?
3. Laugh and play together everyday. It’s always been a priority for me to read with my children every day. But it’s harder for me to let loose and play (unless we’re in the pool together!). Thankfully, I have a daughter who prides herself on being silly and a good husband who often uses tickles to cure the grumpies. Little Sister, in fact, believes so strongly in the importance of family play that she wrote a how-to book on the subject! 🙂
Draw a crazy picture,
Write a nutty poem,
Sing a mumble-gumble song,
Whistle through your comb.
Do a loony-goony dance
‘Cross the kitchen floor,
Put something silly in the world
That ain’t been there before.
How will you strengthen families, celebrate birthdays and make memories this year? Please, please, please share your ideas with a comment below! I love learning all the wonderful things you are doing that strengthen families. I am inspired by your creativity and commitment to building families that are close-knit and resilient.
And if you find this post useful, I’d so appreciate you sharing it on social media!
P.S. Have you ever played Drawful?? You have to check it out and play with your family! It’s an interactive game played across devices and my family of four had a blast adding this to our family New Year’s Eve party. I have been accused of being “anti-screen” or “anti-technology” because, well, it can be isolating when everyone retreats to their own devices instead of talking to each other. But this game brings everyone together in fantastic interaction. I haven’t laughed that hard since I don’t know when. All ages had a blast, admittedly usually at my expense because I just might be the world’s worst artist. But it’s worth it for the fun times together! It would be really fun with extended family, too- can’t wait to play with my siblings and their kids when we next get together. So long as one person owns it, they can invite everyone else to join with the room code specific to each game. See what you think and let me know if you love it, too!
Family travel: expectation vs. reality
On dreams. And timing. And faith.
Using holidays as writing prompts for personal and family history: Easter traditions
How Storytelling Creates Stronger Families
Legacy Tale podcast interview for Happy Playces
Why you should hold an intentional family planning retreat (with free downloads!)
Ideas for strengthening families: new inspiration for a new year
Youth for Action. Age for Wisdom. Musings at Age 41.