Spend quality time with the ones you love and create happy memories that will last you a lifetime. Learn about why it's important to make family date night part of your routine.
Couples are often reminded they need to continue to date their partners long after they're married and possibly have kids. It's important to continue to connect on a romantic level and do exciting things together, not just crash on the couch at the end of the workday.
The same concept can be applied to families. We all get so swept up in work, school and, in particular, technology, that sometimes families manage to live under the same roof but spend very little quality time together.
That's where family date night comes in. Just like continuing to date your partner, it can be beneficial for your family's relationship as a whole to set aside a dedicated time once per week or biweekly to do something together.
"Spending quality time is an important way to tell our family that we love them, that of all the things we could be doing and all the people we could be doing them with, we are choosing to be with them," says Marion Goertz, a registered marriage and family therapist based in Toronto. She says really listening to your children, talking to them and getting to know them "provides a positive impact on the neuroscience of their brains that video games and online activities can't replicate."
Family date nights are good for your spirit and your brain: "The learning and loving goes both ways! Children generally have new and creative ways to respond to the world around them, whereas adults can easily forget how to play, how to be silly and how to ask questions about the, ‘why or why not' of things," says Goertz.
The best family date nights will accommodate all the ages, stages and mental and physical interests and capabilities of each family member in your home. Don't alienate one family member or choose an activity somebody dreads – the point is to all have fun together.
When you're devising how you'll spend your family date nights, get input from the whole family. Take turns coming up with suggestions, keep tabs on seasonal or special events in your area or try to come up with something completely new everyone would like to try. "Remember that kids are all about sampling," says Goertz. "It's wisest to try before you buy and enjoy the experience of trying out a number of different things."
Valentine's Day doesn't have to be purely about romance; rather, it can be a great opportunity to teach your children to celebrate love in all its shapes and sizes. And what better way to show love than to cook a nourishing meal together? Here's a Valentine's menu that's sure to please the whole family.
Make this cocktail kid-friendly by replacing orange-flavoured liqueur with orange juice and sparkling wine with fizzy soda water or gingerale.
Cheesy, creamy broccoli soup is a family-friendly dish that's a great way to get kids to eat their veggies. The crispy Cheddar croutons add a satisfying crunch. For a lighter finish, replace the sour cream with Greek yogurt.
Bone-in skin-on chicken thighs are a bargain at the grocery store, plus they're so much juicier than boneless thighs or breasts. The kids will love it!
Illustrations by Brendan Fisher | Wood and paint, homedepot.ca | Bedside tables, mattress, duvet, duvet cover and grey cushions, ikea.ca | Canadian Living bed skirt, bedbathandbeyond.ca | Art, jensennagle.com | Flowers, fiorioakville.com Image by: Angus Fergusson
Want to transform the look of your bedroom? Inspired by board-and-batten siding, this headboard looks like a million bucks—on a way smaller budget. It's super simple to build and you can easily customize the size to fit your bed.
- Tape measure
- Table saw or handsaw
- 1/2-inch sheet of MDF
- 1- by 5-inch MDF board
- 1- by 3-inch MDF board
- Several 1- by 4-inch MDF boards
- Wood glue
- Clamps for drying (optional)
- Nail gun and nails
- Caulking gun and caulk
- Paint tray
- Paint roller and paintbrush
- Paint (We used Behr Ultra Pure White 1850)
- Screwdriver and screws
- Wood filler
Measure the width of your bed. Using the saw, cut the sheet (A) so it's 4 inches wider than the bed— this was 57 inches for us—and 66 inches long. (We had ours cut to size at The Home Depot.) Cut the 1- by 5-inch board (B) the same width as the sheet. Cut the 1- by 3-inch board (C) 4 inches longer than the width of the sheet, which was 61 inches for us.
Place the boards horizontally on top of the sheet so they're flush.
Measure from the bottom of the 1- by 5-inch board (B) to the bottom of the sheet. Cut four 1- by 4-inch boards (D) to the same length. Place them vertically equidistant on the sheet.
Create a grid by cutting remaining 1- by 4-inch boards (E) to fit horizontally between the vertical boards.
Glue each board in place on the sheet; let dry. Using the nail gun, secure each board in place. Caulk any edges (if you see gaps); let dry.
Paint the headboard. To make it easier to paint the sides, elevate the sheet on scrap pieces of wood.
Buying art is easier than ever thanks to online shops that offer everything from contemporary abstracts to landscapes—often in a variety of sizes. With prices that won't blow the budget, you can curate an art collection from the comfort of your couch.
The image wraps around the sides so you can enjoy its beauty from every angle.
This landscape was inspired by the striking country-road views of the American Midwest.
$30 to $246, minted.com.
Canadian artist Yangyang Pan's stunning print will add drama to any space.
$62 to $192, siiso.etsy.com.
Download this fun photo and print it in any size you want!
Muted colours and textures give this piece a vintage feel.
Artist Helena Wurzel's work feels like a modern take on folk art.
$79 to $1,586, 20x200.com.
Artist Hailey Mitchell's portraits are inspired by strong women around the world.
Photography from a favourite travel destination keeps memories alive.
$30 to $299, annawithloveshop.com.
Perch this preppy greeting at the front door to welcome your guests in style.