Being around our kids every day sometimes makes us immune to how much they are growing and changing. It’s often when I’m away from them for a few days or look back at pictures that I notice how much they have grown or changed from just a few months prior.
Not only do they grow and change on the outside, they grow and change on the inside a lot too. Their preferences change. Their interests can vary with the seasons, their grade or friend group. Their knowledge and their questions are ever-increasing.
The same is true with our spouse, we each change and grow over time. I once heard a man share on a podcast about how he decided to do something nice for his wife just because. He knew she loved Diet Coke, so he stopped and bought her a case on the way home. When he presented his gift, she said, “Thank you, but I stopped drinking Diet Coke several years ago.” Whoops! In the busyness of day-to-day life, he never noticed this shift in her preferences.
Because things are constantly varying, it’s important to know our family members in the season they’re in now. Intentional conversation in the car or at dinnertime is a great way to do this. It doesn’t have to be formal or forced but can be spontaneous and fun.
Here are a few ideas you can put into practice with your family to get to know each other better:
- Would You Rather: My kids love playing this game. You ask each other a series of questions like:
- “Would you rather eat a donut or ice cream?”
- “Would you rather go on vacation at the beach or the mountains?”
- “Would you rather watch a movie or read a book?”
- You get the idea.
- Never Have I Ever: With these next two items, you’ll likely know the answers for your kids. But it’s a great opportunity for them to get to know their parents better. For this one, you make the statement, “Never have I ever . . . (been stung by a bee, for example).” Then everyone who has experienced what you chose stands up. Then you go around and take turns making statements.
- Two Truths and a Lie: You make two statements that are true about yourself and another that isn’t. Then you make guesses on which statement is not true.
- Favorite Things: Pick categories and have everyone list their favorite items, like movies, tv shows, games, food, way to spend a free afternoon, etc.
- Flag Page: Pull out some paper and crayons and have everyone create a flag representing who they are. It will be neat to see the creativity of each family member and the explanation of why they chose to create their flag that way.
As you get to know your family members better, you’ll be able to better support, encourage and love one another. You’ll likely have some laughs and make some fun memories in the process.