Intentional Family Building

Another snow day. My space has been invaded by my husband working from home (again), and my tween and my teen who are off school (again).

On this particular snow day, the kids were going with a friend to our local “mountain,” which is little more than a very big hill, to snowboard for a few hours. My husband and I “communicated” the details of the plan.

You’ll notice the quotation marks around the word communicated. What actually occurred cannot really be categorized as communication. For my part, I was talking quietly because I had a sleeping baby in my arms. For his part, Marc was listening to me while simultaneously reading something on his laptop. Yet, we forged on.

Is it any wonder that when it came time to take the kids to the mountain, Marc and I had two different ideas of how the plan was to unfold? I won’t bore you with all the details of our misunderstanding, though I will ask you to imagine the scene:

  • Patience was low to begin with, as our normal routines were compromised and our to-dos were not getting to-done.
  • I had just taken refuge in my bedroom with a sleeping baby, a cup of coffee and my laptop. Ahhh, finally. Marc is going to take the kids snowboarding and I’ll have some peace and quiet.
  • Marc enters my haven and says in a surprised tone of voice, “What are you doing? You’re supposed to be taking the kids to the mountain now!”

So began the “whisper fight.” You know, the kind where you yell at one another as loud as you can in whispers so not to wake the baby.

Do you ever have days that like this in your home?

Thankfully, the days of peace and kindness outweigh the days we whisper-yell at each other. We prioritize keeping peace in our home and in our hearts towards one another. As perhaps is true for your family, we are intentional about making quality time together a regular occurrence: playing games together, attending church services together, and eating meals together as often as we can. We also spend time in prayer together every day, even if it is just for 2-minutes!

Family Building
Because I am a bit of a personal development junkie, I frequently *force* – umm, I mean invite – my husband and kids to join me in a family-building activity. The activities typically involve self-reflection and have some element of play or fun to them, such as art, cooking, or using props from some of my teambuilding games. There have been a few activities over the past few months that were especially meaningful and enjoyable and I wanted to share them with you. Keep reading to learn about our “Me Collages.” And watch for upcoming posts with other intentional family activities.

Me Collage
The purpose of this activity is to allow each member of the family to create a collage of words and images that represent aspects of themselves. Here is my Me Collage:
me collage

Activity Instructions:

  1. Print out or draw a template for each person to create their Me Collage on. We used these gingerbread-style cutouts. Click on the image to download and print.
    gingerbread man
  2. Gather lots of magazines and catalogs to use for cutting out images and words.
  3. Set up your workspace: spread out the magazines and provide scissors and glue for each person. You may want to have markers or crayons available too in case someone wants to draw on their Me Collage.
  4. Allow at least 30-minutes for perusing the magazines and creating your collages. Of course, depending on the ages and attention spans of your children, you decide if less or more time is necessary.
  5. After everyone has finished their Me Collage, take turns sharing them with one another. Get curious about the images that were chosen. You might ask questions such as: What does that mean to you? OR How are you most like that ______?

In addition to your family, this activity is appropriate for any group wanting to get to know each other better: a mom’s club, a book club, with your students, etc.

Credit for this activity goes to my mom, Helen Ercolino. Helen is a Licensed Counselor and Registered Play Therapist out of Chester Springs, Pennsylvania, working with children, couples and families (as well as individuals).

I’d love to hear about your Me Collages! You can leave a comment at the bottom of this page or share via our Facebook page. May God bless you and each member of your family!

With love,
De

Linking up with: Mommy Monday Blog Hop, Motivation Monday, Titus Tuesdays, Grace and Truth, Faith Filled Friday, Women with Intention

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Join the conversation!
  1. Helen says:

    I love your collage De. I am so grateful that you are so invested in growing your family relationships. Sending and your family love.

    Reply
  2. Carol says:

    The collage is a wonderful project for family time. I am always looking for ideas for crafts with my granddaughters. Thanks for sharing your collage!

    Reply

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