National Families Week is held every year from 15 to 21 May. This week coincides with United Nations International Day of Families on 15 May. The aim of the week is to celebrate the vital role that families play in Australian society.
The ongoing theme is ‘Stronger Families, Stronger Communities’. This theme continues to deliver the message that family wellbeing enhances community wellbeing.
The week is a time to celebrate with your family and make contact with your extended family. Many events take place during the week so that you can share in the enjoyment of family activities by joining in with the wider community.
How can you build a stronger family?
The number 1 tip for stronger families, stronger communities is to join a local community group. Of course MOPS is a local community group that you can join to get invaluable parenting support and time with other mums who are in the same stage of life as you.
Another way to build a stronger family is by spending time together as a family. This might include:
Whether that is at home, in a park, at the beach or at another place your family enjoys. When my children were younger we often used to meet my husband at the bus stop which was right near a park so we could spend some time together in the park before going home.
Being active in other ways
Our children always came with us in a pram when we were walking or jogging. As they got older they sometimes wanted to walk themselves – slower but we still got out of the house. Or slightly older again, they rode a bike or scooter as we walked or ran.
Eating meals as a family
This doesn’t have to be every meal. Some families find it easier to feed the kids dinner first and then the parents eat later once the children are in bed. However, can you share breakfast or lunch together on the weekends? For a number of years now we’ve enjoyed a breakfast of bacon and eggs before going to church. Even eating together just a few times a week helps build better relationships.
Doing something together to help others
This may not be as easy when you have young children. However young children can do things like cotton bud paintings that can be attached to homemade cards to be given to someone. Young children like being involved or helping in age appropriate ways.
Do things with extended family
If you have extended family close by you can do things together! We still have a weekly meal with my parents and extended family even though my children are young adults now. If extended family is further away you can still communicate via Skype or similar. Can Grandma read a story to your children over the internet?
Do things with other families
Invite another family to go to the park with you. Go away with another family. Join in on local community events for families. We’ve had other families over with young children on New Year’s Eve and had an early celebration with sparklers. This way families could enjoy time together but take their children home to bed before it was really late.
How are you going to celebrate National Families Week? Will you participate in a local event or do something else as a family, with extended family or with another family?
Assistant Coordinator, Stafford MOPS & MUMSnext
Jillian is married with 2 young adult children and has been blogging at www.feedmyfamilyblog.com for over 5 years. On the blog, she writes about feeding the family in body, mind, heart and soul. Jillian enjoys speaking at women’s groups and conferences about parenting and passing on faith to our children. She is currently studying for a Graduate Certificate in Children and Families Ministry.