Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Fourth Way to Draw Your Family Together - Work Together

(I am currently in Germany helping my daughter after the birth of her first baby, a girl, and our sixth grandchild. I'm struggling with German Internet and my iPad Mini. You might find some typos in this post that I have tried to correct, but something won't allow me to. Thanks for your understanding.)

In June, my husband and were were the "Memory Verse station" for our church's Vacation Bible School. I came up with the creative ideas and gathered the materials we needed, Jim was the uninhibited front person. We had about 70 kids come through and learn a five verse passage. I loved watching him interact with the kids. He thought my different ideas for each night were great. It was so much fun to work together and I fell in love with him all over again.

One day while my four children were at school I went in their rooms and was so frustrated that there were things from all over the house in each of their rooms. Rather than put them away myself, I made piles in the middle of each room, two in the girls room, one in each of the two boys' rooms. When they got home, I told them they could have their snack when everything in their pile was put away where it belonged.  

I was not sure how the kids would react, But they had a great time! They were carrying things all over the house, laughing about what what in their room and putting it where it belonged whether it was a tool of dad's, a dish from the kitchen, a toy from the toy room, dirty clothes, books for the bookshelf , or a towel from the bathroom. When they finished they all sat down together at the table for their cookies and milk and joked about the things they had on the floors of their rooms. They had a common bond of working at the same time. It would have connected them even more if I had had them help each other, working together.

I have come to believe that there are (at least) five ways you can draw closer to people and families can become closer to each other. I'm going to talk about the fourth one in this post, and have four other posts you can read on the others. They are 

  • Vacation! Believe it or not, vacation can be a good time to work together. One of the great things about camping is it requires work: setting up the tent, gathering wood, cooking over a fire, maybe fishing and scaling the fish, and clean up Next week I want to talk about another way camping bonds families, but, the working together aspect is a great one, even if it does not seem like the kids think so at the moment!
  • Yardwork: Working in the yard as a family is a natural time to get this kind of togetherness in, whether it is planting flowers, pulling weeds, raking grass or leaves, or watering plants. Everyone outdoors, with a common goal (even if it seems like their  goal is to get it over with) is good for a family. One caution: if you have little kids working in the garden, you might get pulled flowers, plants broken, and weeds missed. Make your goal good bonding time, and not a perfect yard.
  • Work Days:  Our chapel has workdays a couple of times a year to get the building cleaned up and in good order. Sometimes schools or parks have volunteer workdays too. These are a great time to bring the kids along and find jobs they can do as well, either with you, or working with others. A fast food lunch or an ice cream out is always a great way to end the day on a happy note!
  • Helping Others:  Maybe you know some older people who could use some help winterizing their yard, or a friend who needs a hand with a shed he's putting up, or a mother with a new baby, who would love to have her older kids entertained , some laundry folded, and dinner prepared. Take your kids along and serve others together. You all get that great feeling of having done a good deed together.
  • Moving Day:  When our oldest son, his wife and two kids were moving from a small apartment to a first floor of a house  (with a yard!)  our other son and his wife and my husband and I were there to help, packing, watching kids, carrying things out of one place to the van or truck and into another place a few blocks away. Sure, it was hard work, and some of us were sore at the end of the day, but we shared the joy of helping.       
  • Mealtimes: Meals provide natural ways to get kids to help out, setting the table, clearing, helping prepare the food, and washing and drying the dishes. My ideal was we would do this together after dinner, one washing, one drying, one putting away, me overseeing wiping up. That happened far less times than I'd like to admit, but I usually had one helper for setting and one for clean-up. It gave us sometime to talk and bond, even though they had the goal of getting out of the kitchen in the shortest time possible!
I was not sure if I should put prayer first or working together first as I am writing these topics from "lightest" to "deepest" bonding, and I still do not know, but I believe it takes all these stages to truly deepen any relationship.   

Tell me how you get your family to work together.

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Follow me on Pinterest  to not miss a blog post and see the other ideas I think are worth trying!

For More Ideas and Inspiration:

Check out the book  Around the Table: Connecting With Your Family at mealtimes . You can read the first chapter at this site and order a copy of the book!

Linking with these great blogs. 


  1. This is a great post and I take it to heart. I agree with all your tips! So happy to find your blog at the homemaking party. :-)

    1. I am happy that you found my blog, too. I pray it will be a blessing to you!

  2. Great insight! I agree that working together can really help you draw closer as a family!

    1. It's hard when kids grumble and we could do it better ourselves, but it is more important than an attitude or a sloppy job.

  3. I agree! Working together can really help a family draw closer!

  4. I agree that some of the best times we have as a family is when we pitch in and work together. I call it "pulling on the same rope." There is such a great sense of accomplishment when after a hard day's work, you can come together and say "look what we did!" Thanks!

    1. I love that, "pulling the same rope." That is a great description of working goal, each one necessary to make it happen!



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