Keep your kids close as they grow older by creating awesome family time with fun themed family dinners. With a little bit of effort and things you already have around your house, you can create a fun family moment when they will be glad to be together.
There's just something about when they hit the teen years that they want to be out and about with their friends instead of hanging out with their mom, dad, and siblings.
I'm fighting to keep our house the "fun" house. I would much rather have a household of roudy kids that are everywhere and into everything than having my kids off doing "who knows what."
So I try to find simple ways that I can make family memories and family fun time.
One of the easiest ways that I have found with the best response from my kids is to have "themed" family dinners.
I love to throw these and the kids love to eat dinner and stay and talk for a while when we do.
I consider that a parenting success.
And they are so easy to throw.
You can pick a movie theme. You can pick a book. You can pick a song. You can pick anything you can imagine. Recently, the Perfectionist was in Dr. Sesuss' Sesussical the Musical at his school. We decided to have a family dinner around Dr. Seuss.
But we've also had a cooking themed dinner, a Candy Themed dinner, a Sock Hop party, a Divergent dinner party and a few more.
Use things you have around the house to spice up your dinner table. Find a vase and fill it with flowers. Use your favorite books from your night stand. Fill a plate with vegetables from the garden. Build a candy bouquet using a printable or favorite mug. Or use our Hershey Kiss labels to add sweet treats down the center of your table.
Now use your imagination and rename your dinner food.
If you are having Chicken Alfredo rename it to "Elephant Noses". If you are having Peas, they can now be "Dust Specks", and if you are having a fruit salad, it can now be "Bird Eggs".
Use a note card folded in half or one of our fun table card designs to rename the food so everyone can get into the spirit of the themed family dinner.
Have fun with it. Since your kids can see they are eating things they already know and love, you shouldn't have too many problems with the dinner. After all, when else can you get them to eat dust specks?
If all goes well, you'll have a fun family dinner night with everyone talking and laughing together. Be sure to extend that fun into the rest of the evening, by having a yummy dessert and game after. You can play table games like the Candor Truth or Lie game, or you can break out a fun board game that is a family favorite, or you can even play what the kids want, like video games as a family.
Just remember to keep it going as long as everyone's having fun. As soon as the fun starts to turn, let the kids and teens wander off to the black holes of their rooms. You want them to remember the night as fun, not as you pushing them for more "family time".
Enjoy your evening and you'll be surprised when they ask if they can do it again! What do you do to keep your family coming back for more?