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An Easy Way to Strengthen Catholic Family Life: Family Dates

Look, I totally get it. Life is busy! Sometimes it’s hard to even think about adding another thing to your jam packed life. 


But for the sake of your family… I urge you to keep reading about the importance of regular family dates!



 

You need not look very far to find studies on the importance and benefits of quality time as a family. This online article mentions some of the countless benefits.


Top 10 Benefits to Quality Time as a Family:

  • Improves Mental Health

  • Helps Children Perform Well Academically

  • Lowers Risk Of Behavioral Problems

  • Boosts Self-Confidence

  • Helps Kids Learn Future Parenting Skills

  • Teaches Effective Conflict Resolution

  • Reduces Stress 

  • Promotes Adaptability And Resilience

  • Enhances Physical Health

  • Lengthens Life Expectancy


 

Not only does it help our children in the above ways, but it also builds family identity and a chance to reinforce family values and culture. Family dates are a wonderful way to build the Catholic Identity of your family! 


To strengthen Catholic family life on your date:

Pray before your meals together. Make it a regular thing, no matter where you are, you pray before eating.


Check in on everyone. We do something called Rose and Thorn where we each say the best thing and worst thing that has happened to us. We practice listening to others well and speaking clearly when it's our turn to talk. These are building blocks to the daily examen. We thank God for the good things, and ask for God’s help through the bad.


Encourage belonging. We find that after family dates, our kids feel more secure in their place within our family, and we often experience much less family fights and much more unity and friendliness. 


Call out Virtues when you see them. This goes for everywhere you are with your children, but when you see your kids practicing virtue, call it out! Family dates give the whole family new opportunities to be patient, generous, selfless, etc.




Here are some ideas for Family Dates:

  • Family movie night (we suggest the Catholic Family Movie Night blog posts for a good starting place!)

  • Family walk or bike ride

  • Go out to eat (yes it’s expensive, but if you have kids who speak Gift Giving language of love, it’s SO important!)

  • Ice cream after adoration and confession. This can be out or at home with a DIY sundae bar!

  • Family Game Night (some of our favorite games are Taboo, Headbandz, Apples to Apples, Scrabble, and Yahtzee). 

  • Attend one of the children’s sporting events, recitals, concerts etc. and get ice cream or go out to eat after.

  • Arts & Crafts night: Drawing, painting or sculpting competitions (Ask google to give you a list of animals for example and have Mom or Dad be the judge on who does the best job, etc.) 


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