Is your family grumpy too much?
Today Liz Millay from Simple Life Messy Life joins us to give us 10 ways to stop feeling like a grumpy family–and start feeling like a happy family again, even in the midst of school!
School has begun once again and whether your kids are hopping on the big yellow bus or sitting down for math lessons at the kitchen table, one thing is for sure – gone are the lazy days of summer. Life is about to get busy!
I know for our family, when our schedules are full and we aren’t able to spend as much time together, we start to feel disconnected. We are more liable to get cranky at each other and we start to feel just plain “off.”
So, how do you stay connected as a family when your days are filled with activities taking you every which way?
If you don’t want to be a grumpy family, you have to be intentional.
Don’t get me wrong, being intentional about connecting as a family isn’t always easy, but it doesn’t have to be elaborate or complicated either!
Here are ten simple ways to stay connected as a family. Don’t go crazy trying to do all ten (that wouldn’t be very simple after all!), but pick a few and find what works for you!
1. Have at least one night a week where everyone is home
Especially as your kids get older, it is really easy to have somewhere to be every night of the week. And while some seasons of life will be busier than others by necessity, try to keep at least one night a week where everyone is home together.
On these nights the pace of life can slow down a little. Family members can play, talk, and just spend time together unhurried. These times of rest are so important.
2. Cook a meal together
One of the simplest ways to find time to connect as a family is to combine it with something you already have to do anyway. Since you have to eat, why not have a night when the family makes dinner together?
You could try spitting the meal responsibilities (boys make the main dish, girls make the sides), do a little Chopped Challenge, or tackle a new recipe together. Even the littlest helpers can get involved!
3. Eat dinner around the table
Even if you aren’t able to cook the meal together, there are so many benefits to eating together! You can read more about the benefits of the family dinner table here, but just some of them are: less tension in the house, more talking among family members, and healthier eating all around.
For extra fun or a special evening, put out a table cloth and light a candle (even if you’re just eating pizza!). Put away the phones and make dinnertime a relaxing part of the evening.
4. Turn off the electronics
Speaking of putting away your phones, try putting some limits on all electronic devices. The TV, phone, iPad – being connected to them makes it really hard to be connected to each other!
This past year for Lent, one of the things we decided to do was to not turn the TV on until after our son went to bed. It was such a simple thing, but you wouldn’t imagine the different it made in the atmosphere of our family. You can read more about our experience here.
5. Go for a walk
Another thing we did along with our no TV rule was to go for a walk almost every evening. Now, you might not be able to go for a family walk every evening, but I highly recommend doing it when you can!
It could be as simple as a quick walk around the block or a bigger adventure such as going on a hike at a nearby trail. Either way, there is something about the fresh air and getting your blood pumping that puts everyone in a good mood. Getting out of the house and away from distractions is also a great time to chat and catch up on life.
6. Play a game
Another fun way to spend some time together as a family is to play a game. This could be a card or board game (we like to play Uno with our three year old!) or something more active like shooting baskets or playing catch. You could even play video games together if that’s more your style! It doesn’t matter as much what the activity is, but that you are doing it side-by-side, connecting with each other and building memories.
7. Exercise together
Getting in some exercise is something that most people have on their to-do list. One way to increase the odds of it actually happening (and have more fun doing it) is to get the whole family to join in!
My husband and I have been trying to do a short yoga video every night and often our three year old son joins in. It makes it a little more crazy – but also a lot more fun! Plus, he gets to see us exercising and we get to build a healthy habit as a family.
8. Sneak in some end of the night pillow talk
Pillow talk isn’t just for husbands and wives! That quiet moment, with a dim room all snuggled in bed is a great time to connect with your kids. Ask them about their favorite part of the day, read a book, or just get in some extra hugs and kisses.
9. Family devotional
Sometimes it is easy to think of physical, social, and mental ways to connect, but forget that it is important to connect on a spiritual level too. A family devotional time doesn’t have to be complicated either. You can pair it with dinner or sneak it in at bed time, or even do it at breakfast if you are one of those crazy morning people!
If you need some ideas for family devotions try reading through a book of the Bible (or a story Bible for the little ones) and signing a favorite worship song. There are also lots of great devotional books out there to choose from!
If you have toddlers, try checking out my Play Through The Bible series!
This goes along with having a family devotional time, but it is so important that I thought it deserved its own separate point! Definitely include prayer both during your devotional time and throughout your day as a family. But, even on top of that, don’t forget to pray for your family.
Pray for your family members individually, and also pray for your family as a whole. Pray for relationships among each other, for your marriage, for siblings, and for the love of Christ to shine in through your family.