One of the most effective and proven ways to
strengthen a family (and to ensure the security and
happiness of children) is to set aside one evening a week
for "Family Night." Many families find that Monday nights work best since there seem to be fewer school, community, and church events scheduled than on other nights. Other families find that Sundays work best. The only real requirements for a good Family Night are that family members are together, that they have fun, and that they communicate. A good Family Night can be anything from playing a game together to going out together for dinner or dessert. What makes it work is commitment -- commitment to be there and to avoid other events or obligations one night each week.
Family Nights are also enhanced if some kind of family learning or character development goes on together. Although it should never sound or feel too much like school, "Family Night Lessons" can give real substance and help family members feel that they are progressing together.
This Internet site will provide parents with "themes" and well-tested teaching ideas for helping children of all ages with twelve monthly "joys" or values that will both strengthen their character and enhance their happiness. The teaching ideas are not just for Family Night of course, but the weekly family meeting is a great place to introduce them and get them started.
Six sample "lessons" are provided here in the visitor section of Values Parenting. If these lessons work well for you and your family, you may want to consider becoming a valuesparenting.com member which will give you access to four lesson plans each month for the following schedule of "joys.
||The Joy of Order, Self-Reliance, And Goal Setting
||The Joy of Love, Commitment, and Fidelity
||The Joy of Obedience, Decisions, and Courage
||The Joy of Communication, Relationships, and Kindness
||The Joy of Purpose, Agency, and Individual Uniqueness
||The Joy of Interest and Curiosity, Imagination and Creativity
||The Joy of Honesty, Fairness, and Trust
||The Joy of Respect and Reverence
||The Joy of Work, Discipline, and Dependability
||The Joy of the Body, Earth, and Mortality
||The Joy of Gratitude and of Family Traditions, Loyalty, and Roots.
||The Joy of Sharing and Service, and of Empathy and Sensitivity