Making Your Home a Haven: Family Fun Night

making your home a haven 2014

Oh dear, I’m a teensy bit behind on the Making Your Home a Haven challenge, hosted over at Women Living Well. Normally, I would be all worried about it, but I’m giving myself a little grace about it today ๐Ÿ™‚

So, week three is all about family fun. The task for this week is to plan a family game night and to work on kindness and joy. Well, I have to admit, we didn’t have a game night last week, but we did do some other fun things together.

Reading Together

Over the past several months, one of my goals has been to read more with my kids in order to help foster a love of reading in them. We read aloud the Chronicles of Narnia books over the summer, and we recently started on the Anne: The Green Gables Collection (affiliate link…by the way, this 12-book collection is only $.99 for Kindle right now!). We are enjoying Anne so much that my daughter begs me to read to her and gets upset if we can only get to one chapter at a time.

My son, who is 5, did not have much patience for chapter books, so we’ve been picking up a fresh set of picture books for him from the library each week. This is such a big deal for him, as he’s never really liked reading before. I just make sure I pick books that I know he will enjoy, such a books about other little boys, and pretty much anything with trucks or knights/warriors.

The biggest thing that I’m super excited about is that over the past 2 months, the kids have watched practically NO television. This is just huge for us, let me tell you. They had gotten into such a bad habit of TV watching over the summer that I just had to put a stop to it. I admit, I was too lenient and let them watch more than I should have because I justified it by telling myself that they were on vacation.

To my surprise, the end of the television era in our home has gone very well. I’m not sure the kids even miss it, to tell the truth. They’ve been so busy reading, playing with friends, building Legos, learning piano and writing stories to miss it very much. I’m just so relieved about it!

Movie Nights

Now even though we have pretty much turned the TV off in our house, we still like to have movie nights every so often.

My husband will usually go pick something out at Redbox or we will find something interesting at the library that is kid-friendly and also enjoyable for adults. We pop some popcorn or make some cookies, then we all head down to the basement in our pajamas with a cup of hot cocoa or tea (for Mom) and snuggle up on our couches to watch the movie. Some of our recent favorites have been Frozen and Mr. Peabody & Sherman (affiliate links).

Working on Kindness and Joy

Kindness comes more easily to me around strangers than it does with my own family, I’m so sad to say. Fortunately, I’ve recently found out why that is and how to fix it.

Earlier this week, I finished reading a book by Dr. Kevin Leman called Born to Win: Keeping Your Firstborn Edge without Losing Your Balance(affiliate link) and was so convicted by his theories. Dr. Leman says that firstborn children are more likely to be perfectionistic and critical of others when they don’t live up to our high standards. He also says that if you had a critical parent, then you are also more likely to be even more critical of others. Hello, that’s me!

Well, it’s very clear to me that if I want my family to feel loved and anxious to come home everyday, then I need to stop criticizing. If my kids don’t make their beds exactly the way I think they should, it’s not the end of the world! If my husband leaves his socks on the floor every single night for the past 14 years (OK, I’m exaggerating!), it will not ruin my perfectly clean bedroom.

I want my family to feel loved and appreciated, so this week, I’ve really been making more of an effort to keep my mouth closed instead of complaining about the way my daughter’s hair looks or the shirt that my son picked out to wear. I’m hoping that this will become a permanent habit as I will be thinking about Ephesians 4:32 this week:

…and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.

What kind of things does your family like to do for family fun nights?

**I hope you’ve enjoyed this Making Your Home a Haven challenge as much as I have. To see other posts in this series, head over to my Making Your Home a Haven page, where you will find my other posts from this year and previous years.

2 thoughts on “Making Your Home a Haven: Family Fun Night”

  1. Both my husband and myself are firstborn kids that had critical parents. But I’m happy to say we left most of our perfectionist ways behind. God sent us two happy kids that are not perfectionist and they balance us quite well. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Yesterday we had fun at our house. My kids set up two ramps in the living room and taught the dogs to run up and down them. Then at the end of the course to jump into a box. The kids set up their camera on the tripod and made a video. It was fun to see them being get creative with little help from me. I just got to enjoy the fun with them.

    We do read a loud time as part of our homeschool and it’s always the well received. Anne of Green Gables is such a great series. My daughter loved it.

  2. What a great post, Erin! I need to work on speaking more kindly to my family, too. I agree that kindness usually comes easier with people I barely know, which is sad.

    For family nights/days, we usually watch a movie, make a fun treat, pop popcorn, play a game, watch something fun on YouTube, and basically, just do things like that. ๐Ÿ™‚

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