I don't know about you guys, but it seems like families can get pretty scattered, even living under the same roof. In our house, everyone has their own TV and their own agendas and responsilbilities. What do you do to keep the family together? There just seems to be a real backwards notion that anything related to the family gets in the way of life, rather than the other way around. When I was young, it was quite a bit different.
Get rid of the TVs. Yes, at first everyone will complain. But wait and see the magic!!!
if you will insist that EVERYONE eat the evening meal together at the table, you will see relationships improve greatly. this will encourage conversation about almost everything, even if it is about the t.v. programs that everyone has been watching. i am so pleased that you are making an attempt to bring your family back together, wish there was more of you around.
We have only one tv in our house with 6 people! I hate it sometimes but it keeps us together. Try limiting the times that they can disappear to their rooms for tv. Pick a night to order pizza or cook up finger foods (chick nuggets, cheese sticks, nachos), spread a blanket on the floor and rent a movie to watch while you eat. Yes, it's still tv but you are all together. Try an old favorite board game. My kids think I'm mean, but if I feel they are spending too much time on video games, the game system will disappear for several days...maybe you could reduce the number of tvs you have available for a while. I think its great that you're trying!
The one thing that separates people in a home is "the screen", computer, or TV. The suggestions to eat dinner together (whatever it may be!) with the TV off is a good one. If your husband agrees, you will see this change happen a lot faster.
One TV on at a time, or one TV in the house, seems old fashioned, but it will definintely draw everyone together.
It is pleasant to make going to church together a weekely event. After church, it feels natural to eat together.
Keep trying. It's worth it.
Eat together, the kids complain about the food sometimes so we started letting them pick. Each person in the house has a night to pick the food and we all eat it together. We also watch certain shows together on the TV.
Eating together is a great start! One thing we do at dinner is we have a "special plate". It is obviously different from the rest of our plates. I bought it at Dollar General for $1. We take turns starting with the youngest. At the start of the meal, we go around the table and each person has to say one thing they love about the person who has the special plate. Even my husband and I get a turn with the special plate! Its incredible the things I have learned that my husband and children love about me and it helps the kids to get along better too! The times when we eat out, the kids comment how they miss having the "special" plate. Of course if its someones birthday or they bring home an A from school, win a special award, etc., then they get special plate that night and we go back to the age progression the next night. It really has instilled in all of us the importance of letting others know how important they are to you, and how much you love them.
Church is a number one....but we as a family have graveyard schedule, and it rotates, so it is hit and miss. We have only one tv, but if you have a small one upstairs, it makes a big difference when one is laid up in bed (and when it is a parent, the kids naturally join in!) so leave that one stored! The problem with using the tv is that normally no one talks, so share one popcorn bowl and TALK about the show. My four year old automatically shuts off the tv at meal time, and does not like to sit in the living room to eat, unless it is a snack. He is very good at following the rules; we are still working on Dad! When Dad is home to eat, he usually tries to sit at the table, but old habits die hard! I refuse to let our boys have a tv in their room when they are older.
Make sure you stay close with everybody
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