Parenting

Promoting "Us" Time

Every few weeks or so my husband and I gather the kids around the table for a good old-fashioned board game. Most of the time we land up playing Settlers. We’ve been playing it for about three years now and it’s definitely become a family favorite. Nathaniel’s only 11, and Graham is 13 so when we first started playing we’d team up the younger kids with an adult. They get to roll the dice, pick the cards, ask for trades, high five their partner, and eat the chips. Yum. I really didn’t think they’d like it since it was a bit over their heads, but they absolutely love the game. Who knew?

This year we’ve also started playing Trivial Pursuit. The only problem with this game however is that any kid who’s teamed up with “mom” knows they’re automatically on the losing team. How could I possibly guess what body parts include the malleus, incus, and stapes? Or what liquid can blow up buildings and ease the pain of angina? Seriously? Ask me about facebook, cooking, or giving birth, then the game will be on!

I will say however, that the last time we played we either got lucky, or God decided to tip the scales in our favor. Madison and I were scoring questions like, “What diet plan’s spokespeople have included Kirstie Alley, Valerie Bertinelli, and Phylicia Rashad?” And, “If the days of the week are in alphabetical order, which comes last?” And, “On the television show Different Strokes, who is Arnold’s brother?” For once we had answers, and a good reason to high five.

What I really like about board games is not so much what we’re playing, it’s the fact that we’re playing together. The six of us are gathered around the dining room table facing each other; electronics are tuned out and we’re tuned in to family. The entire time we’re playing we’re laughing and enjoying each other’s company, which is definitely a different dynamic than it would be if we were gathered around the TV.

This past year I’ve made “us” time a priority by planning more things that promote conversation.

Road trips are perfect for that. I didn’t really feel like heading out of town this past weekend, but we did because Michael and I decided that a road trip would be a good way to break away from the every day and spend time together. Sitting in a car might sound like an odd way to promote “us” time, but there’s something about it that gets conversation going and keeps us focused on each other.

Whether you have children or it’s just you and your husband, it’s important for all of us to enjoy moments that  bond us together. Life tends to get busy. There are times when we get caught up in our own thing that we forget to slow down and enjoy the people we love.

But all it takes really, is conscious effort and a dining room table to turn things around. Sound easy enough?

Now I’d love to hear from you… what are some of the ways that you promote “us” time with your family?

You are loved by an almighty God,

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