The Power of Weekly Family Time
By Myrna Lapres
Family is the foundation of society. History confirms it and every nation is built on that foundation. But the many changes and advances that our world has seen over the past 70 years put a great deal of stress on family life.
In the words of economic visionary Stan M. Davis, “When the infrastructure shifts, everything else rumbles.” As parents, we need to reflect deeply on this and look at how we are prioritizing and leading our families in these changing times. I have come to believe that creating a space each week to invest in our families is key.
Holding weekly family meetings is not a new idea, but it brings together several elements that can strengthen your family and help things run more smoothly. When I was a teacher as well as a part of my church’s youth ministry staff, we had regular meetings that were an integral part of the success of the programs.
Every company, organization and non-profit rely on monthly or weekly meetings to make things function. Families need to create some order around work & school schedules, church activities, sports, music & dance lessons, doctor & dentist appointments, family vacations, summer jobs, household chores, volunteer projects and more. Meeting together once a week with a family calendar creates the necessary structure needed for harmonious living. In addition, family meetings enable everyone to be engaged in the process of building relationships, solving problems, creating connections and having fun.
For many families, the first hurdle is simply making time. In our busy lives, we can feel that family time is just one more thing to juggle. But shouldn’t this be a worthy challenge for all of us to strive for? Oprah Winfrey said, “I know what you’re going to hear from people is ‘We don’t have the time.’ But if you don’t have the time for one night or at least one hour during the week where everybody can come together as a family, then the family is not the priority.”
Whether you have never established a weekly family gathering or yours needs a little tweaking, I invite you to join me over the next few weeks as I guide you through some steps in making your family a priority. I agree with Stephen R. Covey when he says, “…I have come to feel that probably no single structure will help you prioritize your family more than a specific time set aside every week just for the family. You could call it ‘family time,’ ‘family hour,’ ‘family council’ or ‘family night’…Whatever you call it, the main purpose is to have one time during the week that is focused on being a family.”