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How to Keep Your Family’s Spirit Up

Jeff:
Fun episode for today and a question or how-to is how to keep your family spirit up. Now, this is deeply important coming off the crisis or still in the crisis, actually, but wherever you’re at in it, knowing that it’s the job of a coach to really make sure that they are conjuring up, if it’s the right word, or making sure they’re keeping a pulse on the family’s tone and spirit. We all know what that means. You know those days when your kids are down, you know those days when your kids are happy, and you know you probably get more obedience, more joy, and more blessing when the kids are doing well or when the family feels like it has a better tone and spirit.

So, it’s the coach’s job to find that pulse, to craft out, to pull that out of them. And we only have toddlers. So I do feel like that’s, I wouldn’t say easy in the sense of actually doing it, but it is really easy in the sense of there’s very easy, small, actionable things in regards to like, “Let’s run around, let’s play a game, let’s work on our heart, let’s talk.” To kind of do that. But I do think it’s more complex in the older, bigger family room, and you guys have done a really good job of this, Jeremy. So, how have you guys done this?

Jeremy:
Yeah. One of my favorite tools is if you find that your family is just getting bored, frustrated, bickering a lot, there’s a lot of negative attitudes. My favorite tool for this is to start to introduce evening themes or evening rhythms. So, the way you do this, that could be game night, craft night, movie nights, story night, Bible night, different things that you can do. And you can just declare Monday is craft night, Tuesday is movie night, whatever it is. So, you want to get your kids really excited about this and so you want to just take a few minutes to think about how to present this thing. So, you say, “Hey, guys. Tonight, we’re going to do something awesome. We’re going to do movie night, and this is the kind of movie we’re going to watch, and then we’re going to …”

Usually the thing that really gets them excited is to have some treat or food element involved.

Jeff:
Totally. You’re trying to elevate the moment.

Jeremy:
Yes. Yeah. Because it also makes it more immersive for them. All their senses get involved in that night, so that night has a certain smell, that night has a certain anticipation. So, you get a little surge from when you first introduced the idea. So, you say, “It’s movie night. We’re going to do popcorn.” Or, “We’re going to do a Bible or we’re going to do a read-along, so we’re going to read through the Chronicles of Narnia in the evening and come up with some kind of food that’s related to that.” Don’t use Turkish delight. That stuff is terrible.

Jeff:
It is. Oh, I was so … what’s the word? Aghast or offended because I’m such a Narnia fan. When I first tried it, it was so bad.

Jeremy:
I know. I tried it when we were in Istanbul and it was kind of nasty.

Jeff:
Yeah. And then, one of my buddies was like, “Oh, you got to try the real stuff.” And then you try the really authentic stuff. You’re like, “Nope, just as gross.”

Jeremy:
That’s right. But some kind of treat that you can replace that with or whatever. So, that causes your kids to get excited. Now what really gets magical is after two or three weeks of doing this rhythm. So, Monday night, “Oh, it’s game night. Yeah. I love game night. That’s when we eat peanut M&M’s or whatever it is and drink this special drink.” Your kids, they’ll get so excited. So, what will start to happen … and you can just, like I said, introduce as many of these as you want. There’s seven days in a week. You can have up to seven. What starts to happen is, throughout the day, your kids have something to look forward to you. You have got the evening a little bit nailed.

So, it takes a little bit of creativity, a little bit of planning, but after three or four weeks your kids are just like, “Oh my gosh. It’s Tuesday.” So, they get so excited about what’s coming up and then you can really experience fun and this just causes the family spirit to go up. So, just get into stuff. Get into puzzles, get into certain games, whatever kinds of things you might be able to get into as a family, Legos, or whatever. But it’s really good.

When they see the dad leading a themed night, something happens with the family, and when the dad leads it rhythmically and thoughtfully, then that’s when the magic starts to happen, like I said, after two or three or four weeks. So, I’ve seen a lot of dads do this. We’ve tried this a lot in our family and it’s really powerful. So, if you’re in that state where you’re like, “Man, I just feel like people are down, people are bickering, people are bored, people are frustrated.” Then, go in there and declare a theme. Again, be thoughtful about it, have some really fun elements around it, and just really consistently lead into it.

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