Soft Skills: Family Night

Friday, September 16, 2022 by Catherine Gilliland | Soft Skills

How Family Nights Strengthen Soft Skills

Family nights were something that my kids looked forward to each week! As we reflected on our experiences during family night, we were able to identify many soft skills that were developed during this precious family time!

As we planned these nights, we were careful to plan experiences that were special. What made experiences special for our family? Ones that were uncommon for our children, that every family member could enjoy in their own way, that strengthened our family team, that fostered good memories, and ones that enhanced interpersonal relational and communication skills. Creating experiences at times presented challenges because there was a 15-year span of ages between the oldest and youngest children in our family, the kids had a variety of interests, and there were both boys and girls.

As parents, we kept our ears and eyes open for ideas that we could implement directly or use as a springboard for our own version. Sometimes we used the internet to search, sometimes the title of a book or content of a speaker would spark an idea for us. The key for us was to keep our family vision goals in mind and be creative!

To spark your own creativity in creating special family night experiences for your crew, you might consider any of the following: play team-building games; participate in a ropes course; go ziplining; take a nature scavenger hunt; attend a movie or play at a theater; learn backyard games such as kickball, softball, bocce ball, croquet, or badminton; volunteer for a special cause; decorate Christmas cookies; create balloon sculptures; play silly "youth group" games; take a walk at a special place or walk in a dark location to gaze at the stars; attend a special event; play in the snow together (stage an epic snowball "fight",building a snow fort; create a cluster of snowmen, snow ladies, and pets to represent your family); decorate for a holiday together (let kids create some of the decorations); stage a family impromptu speech night with easy, fun topics.

Remember to incorporate into your family night plenty of laughter, affirmations, loving embraces, and document the time by taking plenty of spontaneous pictures! You may even want to consider ending each family night with a dedicated time of praise from one family member to another. Be ready to witness your family relationships grow and your children become increasingly equipped for successfully navigating life beyond the home!