Friday, March 22, 2013

My Friend's Awesome Family Night Strategy: Inhabiting Another Person's Joy

My friend recently suggested a new way to enact "Friday Family Night." (Thanks, Stephanie!) In her family, a different family member is totally in charge of family night each week. This person plans dinner, an outing, or whatever she wants for the night within whatever budget the family decides.

Even the youngest member plans within budget and leads the rest of the family for the evening.

The best rule for this strategy is this: No one can complain or resist. When it's your turn, everyone follows what you decide. When it's another family member's turn, nobody can complain.

It's a wonderful system, and mom gets a break from planning. We've been doing this for a few months, and we love what's happening.

When it's my husband's turn, if he wants us all watching UNC basketball, nobody complains. If the youngest wants fancy hot dogs at Dairy Queen and crafting, nobody complains. On my night, if I want frozen yogurt and bookstore browsing, nobody complains. If my oldest plans homemade sushi and Wii games, nobody complains.

As a result, we all get to know each other a little better.

We work on inhabiting the particular joys of each family member.

I love having a night off from planning meals or activities. I love that my children get to practice planning and budgeting. I love that they look forward to our Friday Family Night; they wouldn't miss it for the world.

What would you chose for a family night if you knew everybody would go along with you and nobody could complain?

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