Is there a family activity that could be done regularly to draw your family together and allow good discussions?

We have a robust family of 7 who are growing up way too quickly!! I cherish every single memory of our family times when our kids were under 10…and now as each of our children begin to build wider friendship groups, get new jobs, study and build towards their futures we have had to learn to be far more intentional in finding ways to draw our family closer together and create good discussions with our kids. We deeply value authentic, deep, real, honest and close connections with our kids and believe these don’t have to change as they grow older. As parents we are learning that we can foster these by the environments and opportunities we create. 

As our toddlers have become young men and women,  teenagers and young adults, their schedules and routines are busier than ever! Youth group, connect groups, work commitments, study groups, university tutorials, summer jobs, socialising with friends….the competition for connection time is real!!! So last summer we began to rearrange our schedules and introduced a weekly “Family Dinner”. This is a once a week, in the middle of the week, “ALL IN” family dinner!! Mandatory attendance, but we make it worth it with an epic lavish spread of food!

To foster deeper conversation we often pick a topic to discuss and have each person share their ideas, experiences and opinions about it. And we also go around the table and give everyone time to bring up anything relating to living together and our personal interactions. These discussions (around good food!) have helped us to develop deep connection and greater communication. It’s now common to hear our kids telling people about our “sacred family dinners”! 

As parents, one of our primary roles is to model how to grow healthy relationships and connection, and so maybe these holidays you can create some time and space to dream about what that could look like in your family. 

Proverbs 22:6: “Dedicate your children to God and point them in the way that they should go, and the values they’ve learned from you will be with them for life.

Mandy Furlong

Residing in Queensland, Mandy Furlong is a passionate advocate for building families that are thriving, and creating legacies for the kingdom of God for generations to come. A wife, mother to 5 incredible children, primary teacher, homeschooler & ordained pastor, Mandy lives to see people understand the power and gift of relationships and community. For more encouragement follow @raisingrevivalists.

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