Finding the time is always hard to do now that families spend so many hours at work or involved with some kind of extracurricular activity. Anyone with a teenager and a phone bill knows that kids that age want to hang out with their friends or gab on the phone all night. Prying them away from their personal lives can be a challenge. And then there's our younger kids who have aliens to blast, and levels to beat in their latest computer game craze. And we can't forget about the tremendous amount of homework to be done. Most parents nowadays work so many hours that by the time they get home, make dinner, clean up, and make sure the kids are doing their nightly chores and homework, no one has time to think about playing games. Well, it's a great way to break up the monotony of the routines we perform every night. Family time should be fun—not another chore.
If your teenager insists that the phone is more important than participating in some family fun, tell him or her to ask the friend over. The more the merrier!
The best way to get started is to get the whole family revved up. Make a big deal about a new game and set a family “game night.” If you call a “family togetherness night,” you may hear some grunts and groans, but if everyone knows it's a night for fun, they'll realize togetherness is par for the course.
Admittedly, it's hard to play games during the week. After all, there are meals to prepare, dishes to wash, laundry to be folded and put away, homework to be completed, phone calls to return … the list goes on and on. So I recommend weekends for family togetherness and game playing. What could be better on a Friday night than cleaning up after dinner and setting up a board game right on the dinner or dining room table? Choose your seats, get some snacks, and start rolling the dice or dealing out the deck. You can even just grab a pizza on the way home from the office, so you don't have to worry about making dinner before the games begin.