sharing a few photos and a little bit about how our family does “family home evening!” i have mentioned it here and there on social media on occasion and have had a lot of questions around it, so i thought it would be nice to put everything into a big blog post which will hopefully be helpful and insightful for anyone else with a family who is wanting to establish routines and habits around spending quality time together.
while the concept of family home evening (or what we refer to a lot over here as FHE) was first established by our church as a way to strengthen your family unit (you can read more about it here), i very strongly believe that no matter what your religious beliefs might be, the idea of having a dedicated night each week to spend as a family, doing things your family loves doing together and talking about what is important for your family, is very powerful. it can be a time to have spiritual learning together, a time set aside for a service project each week, or a time to just chat about life and catch up with everyone in your family.
growing up, my family always did this on monday evenings, and we’ve tried to keep that going with our own family now. because we are raising our children in a religious and spiritual home, we usually begin and end our family nights with a prayer. we sing lots of songs, have a little lesson or do a fun activity together, and always always always have a treat of some kind. ;) we also rotate through assigned roles each week so each family member gets to have a turn during the month to work on a lesson to share or make a treat to eat. while there are times when we drop the ball and family night doesn’t happen, we have been trying to get into a more consistent routine around here on monday evenings and it’s been really special when we’ve made it happen. the kids even ask for it and remind us!
for all of us, when our kids are little, it seems easy to do this sort of thing, because we are the ones in charge of the family’s calendars and scheduling. so it’s like, well yeah. we already spend a lot of time together. we don’t need to dedicate an entire night to it each week. but, as everyone gets older and extra curricular activities plus social calendars become more demanding, it’s nice to have already built a habit of a consistent night each week where the family is together. as the kids begin making their own plans, they know to hold that night for their family, because that’s how it has always been! and maybe also because they really enjoy family night and want to spend it with their family (okay, maybe?! hopefully! it’s what i’m aiming for here!)
i have to give a lot of credit to my own parents, because they made FHE a very consistent thing in their home while raising their children and while we were in dance classes and rehearsals often until late in the night, they would find ways to make sure we were still home one night a week (sometimes shifting the night to another week night if needed) so we still had time together. we would do a lot of fun things on family night growing up… bowling stands out to me as something we did pretty frequently on family night! we also had an organ in the front room of the house that had a lot of sound effects you could turn on whenever someone was playing it, so we had a lot of crazy dance parties on monday nights as part of FHE growing up, too.
anyway, i think a family home evening night can look different for every family and you can cater it to how it might best fit your own situation and set up, but i think it’s a really wonderful tool for any family that wants to strengthen their own family bond. and i think getting into a consistent habit of doing something one night each week when they kids are little is a good place to start.
sharing some photos below that i snapped during one of ours a few weeks ago…
yes. the boys are taking turns jumping off the side of the sofa onto mama’s throw pillows over there just out of frame. lol.
this is our family home evening board which our kids are obsessed with! it’s a letter board by letterfolk which means you can switch up the letters whenever you want. samson in particular likes to be in charge of rotating who does what and changing out everyone’s names after our family home evening is complete.
this photo of conrad’s car doesn’t have much to do with family night, but he really wanted me to take a photo of his car and i thought that was pretty sweet so i wanted to share it here to remember.
during this FHE, samson was in charge of our treat, so he made homemade chocolate chip banana bread (with a little help!) and we enjoyed it altogether at the end of FHE before getting ready for bed.
if you’re already doing some sort of FHE in your own home, what does it look like? any tips or things you’ve found beneficial and helpful? any seasoned parents out there, i would LOVE for you to chime in especially so myself and others can gain your insight and wisdom in the comments when it comes to building family bonds and spending consistent time together each week as a family. thank you for sharing!