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Forced Family Fun Time, 2014


So about 8% of people hold to their New Year’s resolutions.  Whether you do or don’t, it’s an enjoyable New Year’s ritual.

* Call Grandma more.

* Spend more one-on-one time with each kid.


* Forced Family Fun Time.  Once a week.

I loved and borrowed the concept of Forced Family Fun Time from an educator at one of my favorite organizations, Parent Education Program.

I’ll be the first to say that when the kids were little, it was easy to have those family movie and game nights.  We all enthusiastically gathered for the G movie or a round of Catch Phrase.  Now, not so much.  With a 13-year old son and a 10-year old daughter, it takes forever to find an “enjoyable” and “appropriate” movie for all.  Battling with the sports schedules and the electronic devices cuts into the round-the-table game time.  It’s gotten harder.  But now, along with 2014, comes Forced Family Fun Time.  We call it FFFT.

Here was our first try at FFFT:

It worked out pretty well.

Let me set the stage.  Son, 13; daughter, 10.  On our way to decorate a family gingerbread house (Forced Family Fun Time, you know.)  Son gets the text that the guys are going to the field to kick around the ball.  “I can’t now, but maybe I’ll catch ya later.  Gotta go decorate a gingerbread house with the family.  Yah, I know, right?  I’ll catch ya there when we’re done.  How long can it take to decorate a little gingerbread house?”

And, off we headed . . . to FFFT.

And it went well.  I have the photos of the smiles (from all) to prove it.  Take a peek.  All summed up by my son saying, “Ha, this house LOOKS like Forced Family Fun Time.”  Yah, it kinda does.


And that made us laugh all holiday season long.  (Oh, and BTW, he still hooked up with the dudes at the field.)

Try it.  It doesn’t have to be LOOONNNNNGGGG.  Schedule it on the calendar.  Tell the kids you’re doing it.  If they whine about the movie, the game, the activity of choice, just tell ’em it’s Forced Family Fun Time.  (And chuckle when you say it.)  Once a week, once a month, once a quarter.  Whatever works.

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