Monday, November 11, 2013

Family Night Activity: A Committment to be More Loving

Every once in a while our family needs a little reminder to be more loving toward one another.  We get busy and off track and then we start seeing a lot more hurtful behavior from EVERYONE.  This season of Thanksgiving is a good time to remember to focus on family and having hearts that cultivate love.

To help us out I created this fun little family night activity.  Here is a printable that you can use with your family too!  We want to create a home where love is able to grow and in order to get there we need to remember a few things. the base of our tree you see that it says "be thankful".  We believe that what you focus on you get more of.  Our family has a lot to be thankful for!  When we remember all that we have it helps our lives to feel so much more full and satisfying.  We also added the word "breathe" to one of the branches because we all have to work very hard to pause when we get upset and sometimes walk away from a situation until we have calmed down and are able to be more loving.  As you see, smiles, hugs, listening, waiting, and helpfulness are hanging out in the tippy tops of our tree.  These are all practices that create deeper connections among us and bring us closer together as a family.  The more time we take to listen to one another, notice the need for help, and give warm embraces, the less time we spend arguing and upset.  Of course, in order to be gentle, kind, and forgiving, you have to practice all these other disciplines mentioned above, but above all else, prayer is what will get you there.

During Family Night we discussed all the words on our tree and how they help us cultivate love.  We gave lots of examples and even did some role playing to help use see how we can do things differently and be more loving.  To help use symbolize our family commitment to be more loving we put colorful fingerprints on the tree as leaves.  We used washable markers and colored the tips of our fingers to made fingerprint leaves around the top of the tree.

It was so easy to do and everyone in the family participated!  We had fun seeing all the different fingerprints and comparing the sizes of each person's fingerprint.

When we were finished, we put it in a nice picture frame and hung it in our dining room as a reminder of the love we want to grow in our family.

Once we were done decorating the tree, each family member chose one word or phrase that they were going to focus on in the coming week.  We wrote our commitments on a dry erase board that hangs on our refrigerator as a reminder for the week and so we could help hold each other accountable.  The following Sunday during Family Night we pulled it back out and reflected on how the week went.  We discussed what we could do in the coming week to make a new commitment to help love grow here.

Everyone had a ton of fun completing this Family Night activity.  We discussed how we could continue focusing on being a loving family throughout the year by pulling it back out with each season and making changes to our tree to represent winter, spring, and summer too!  We want to remember that love grows through all seasons in our family and this will help use focus and sometimes refocus our attention to our commitment to being more loving!