For the next couple of posts, I’m writing a two-part article on “Ten Things Every Family Needs.” In survey after survey, most people say that their top priority is to have a strong family. Well, here are some family ideas based on my years of experience as a counselor and observing families of all sizes and shapes. The more you are able to incorporate these key factors, the more you will have a stronger family bond and a happier and healthier family.
So, with no thanks to David Letterman, here are ten things that every family needs:
- A Camping Trip. Key word – “crisis.” What happens on a camping trip? There is usually some type of crisis (hopefully minor). For our family, whenever we camp, it rains. So the tents leak and things get muddy. So how does this help a family? Individuals bond during a crisis. We come together; we create shared memories. We learn how to respond when things don’t go our way. We also get out of our comfort zone of life in the suburbs and get away from the TV and have an adventure.
2. A Ping-Pong Table. Key words – time together. When our kids started to enter adolescence, they wanted to break away and hang out more with their friends. So we cleared off the front porch and bought a ping-pong table. Our home became a safe hang-out place and it gave us a lot of quality time to spend together and play and watch and create more shared memories.
3. A Hand-crank Ice Cream Freezer. Key words – working together. For as long as I can remember, I have many fond memories of my parents making homemade ice cream, usually banana. Making ice cream is a whole family project. Momma would prepare the mix. Daddy would add the ice and salt. And the kids would take turns turning the crank or sitting on the top of the freezer while someone else cranked. At the end, we all got to share in the great ice cream that we had all made. (PS – get the hand crack freezer, not an electric one.)
4. To Plant a Tree. Key word – legacy. We have lived in a lot of homes and we always plant a family tree at each home. Again, this is a working together type of project that creates a living legacy that grows and develops as your kids grow and develop. A spin-off of this is to plant a family garden each year. You work together, you appreciate God’s bounty, and you can even give away some of the produce.
5. A Refrigerator Covered With Family Photos. Key words – recognition and identity. Show me a home with a refrigerator covered with photos and little affirmation notes or awards and I will show you a healthy family. Everyone goes to the fridge, many times a day, and they get to see their pictures and realize they are special and significant.
See my next post for the next five on my list.