1. Put phones away during mealtime. Before you roll your eyes and say you’ve heard that one plenty of times already, ask yourself this: “Have we actually tried this in our home? Consistently?” You have no idea how much this digital connection device is disconnecting your family conversations until you actually put it on ice for a while.
2. Read together. Have at least one time a week set aside for reading something aloud as a family. Whether it is a spiritual devotional time or enjoying a gripping novel, it will reward each of you more than you can guess. The shared experience of reading together will not only bring you closer together and open new doors of discussion – it will also build treasured lifetime memories.
3. Be an encourager. Lead your family in saying good things about each other. Your young children need it. Your teens need it. And your spouse needs it. Don’t you? We all need to hear that we are worth something to someone and that our life efforts are noticed and valued. Train yourself to share words of appreciation with your family members, and you will see their spirits soar!
4. Build a family tradition. Develop a family tradition/ritual that your kids want – and stick to it. This isn’t about putting your kids in charge of your family life. But I can tell you that the value of the fifteen minutes I typically spend with my son at his bedtime playing on my iPhone together is something he looks forward to every night. He knows I value him and I’m willing to focus on his interests – not just my own.
5. Share your faith. Have at least one time set aside each week where you take the lead in sharing and discussing heart and faith matters. Tell your kids what you believe about life, God, struggles, and prayer. Ask what they believe. Dig together. Share your stories that have shaped you into the person you are today. Celebrate their stories, as well. And find ways to share your faith beyond your family. The experience will bless countless lives with your ripple effect.
6. Right your wrongs. Teach your kids to take responsibility for their mistakes by owning up to your own. Tell your spouse and your kids openly and directly when you know you have done wrong, and make it clear you get how your wrong behavior has hurt them. Don’t make excuses. Don’t minimize, avoid, or blame. Admit it and do your best to make it right. Lead your family in revolution!