The year 2018 has come to an end but as we look towards a brand new year, now is a good time to reflect back on the year and to think about the ups and downs that we inevitably faced together as a family. In this, we can step back to evaluate how we’re doing – to discuss what we’re doing well, where we struggle and to see what we might improve.

From there, we can naturally discuss what kind of resolutions we’d like to make for the new year. As we work to become God-centered families, we want to consciously build habits that will help strengthen our relationship with God and with one another. Here is one simple suggestion for a family habit you might want to commit to in the new year.

Creating Healthy Family Habits: Prioritize Family Time

Creating healthy family habits takes work! If the school of love and virtue is in the family, we need to take this time seriously! How will we make the time together as a family a place in which we can consciously learn to grow, mature, live and love to become a family of a world of One Family Under God? The first step is to begin to make time for this growth!

  1. Take some time to map out specific times and dates to make family time a priority for your family. Try to keep the time ‘sacred’ – one specific time throughout the week with specific beginning and ending times (recommend from between 30 to 60 minutes) so you can be sure to keep it as much as possible, whatever might come up.
  2. Try to have both a little freedom and a little structure. Building in free time to bring up new issues, ideas, etc. is important but also having a little structure (e.g., open with a prayer, include time for both serious discussion and fun) can help ensure that the time is well spent. Discuss together as a family how you would like to organize the family time but include the following elements:
    • Opening
    • Discussion time
    • Fun time
    • Closing
  3. Stick to it! The first challenge is simply to work this time into your week. There are a million different ways to configure it: early in the morning, on the weekend, later at night as time allows. Every family will have a different schedule, so it may require some acrobatics but when considering how important family is for all of us, isn’t it worth making time for?
  4. Assign one person to be in charge of planning and leading the meeting for that week. They will be responsible for planning, keeping time, leading the discussion and gathering supplies and clean up. Family members should take turns doing this to learn how to take initiative, lead and serve others. It’s also an opportunity to be creative and to have a little fun.
Date Day/Time Lead Activity
5/21 Mon 7PM Dad Family Goal Setting
5/28 Mon 7PM Brother Story and discussion: Snow White
6/4 Mon 7PM Grandma Discussing Family Values

Go ahead and fill out your own family meeting chart. You can use this to keep track of what you’ve already done and who led which meetings (PDF download).