Friday, March 12, 2010

Guest Post - Family Night - Do It!

Please welcome my blogging friend Hillary Rubin!  She's been gracious enough to take time out of her busy life (if you're skeptical, see her bio below) to write this guest post about the importance of family time.

I grew up privileged. Well, not in the traditional sense. We didn't have a lot of money, my parents lived frugally (I credit my Holocaust-surviving grandparents for that). Yet, every Friday night, on the eve of the Shabbat (Sabbath), my siblings, my cousins, and I would go to Shabbat dinner at my grandparents house. This is very common in Israel but I grew up in good ol' Michigan. I learned at an early age that my family was unique.

The parents would drop us off so we could "connect" with our Jewish roots and celebrate Shabbat as a family. Granted, the parents all went out to get away from us. It was cheap babysitting as my dad calls it. By 8pm, all of the parents would return and nearly every Friday night, the kids would put on a "show". We did comedy skits, dramatic acts, and we danced. At almost 29 years old, it's still one of my favorite memories.

During these "skits", we would say some of the cutest things. Little did we know, our grandmother created a book of our cute kid quotes. She kept these quotes in order to have something to remember us by as we got older and something to shower other people so they could laugh. There's a funny, free website called Heard on the Playground that I am fortunate enough to volunteer for. This site reminds me of what my grandmother did with our quotes. You post funny kids quotes and let people vote on their popularity. You can also make cute t-shirts out of your kids wacky sayings or their hysterical pictures.

Now that I am starting a family of my own, I look back to those Friday nights i spent with my family and I am thankful. I am closer with my family than my fiance is with his and I credit family dinners with that. I spend hours each week talking to my relatives. As a future mom, I hope my kids will have the same experience with their cousins. Through these Shabbat dinners, I learned that family togetherness doesn't need to cost anything - you just need an imagination and the will power to say "tonight, we're spending time as a family!"

If you don't do these things now, you should. Trust me, your kids will thank you for it later.

Hillary Rubin is the marketing and special projects director for where she plays with eyeglasses all day and acts like a kid in a candy shop. She also writes for two blogs - Schmutz in my Head (a blog about life) and the ALMOST New Glasers (a blog about getting married). In addition to this craziness, she volunteers for Heard on the Playground. Follow her on twitter or send her some love.


  1. This is a lovely post. So glad I stopped by to read it. Family time is the most important thing you can give to your children. I raised two boys, and had a few live in girls. Dinner attendance was a must. It was time to talk, to share and vent, to bond, to reward. Sunday was family day and usually an extended family dinner was scheduled. All the kids are grown now. One of the girls was telling me her friend wanted to know how she had such strong family values after being such a troublesome teen. She told her friend that she modeled her own family after ours. Dinner time was her favorite time!

  2. I agree. Family dinners are very important! They may seem like a little event at the time, but in the long run they are so important.

  3. Great post Hillary! I totally agree that family dinners are important.

  4. I was sitting somewhere yesterday and I listened to two young women talk about how dysfunctional their families are. One said how she never speaks to her aunts and uncles another said how she rarely speaks to her siblings.

    It's weird for me.

    I have 4 siblings. I talk to two of them nearly every day. I email with the other two at least once a week. I speak to my parents at least twice a week.

    I so appreciate the love for my post. Family is so important to me. I am constantly updating family things on my blogs. Feel free to stop by. I'd love the chance to write more family oriented stories for other people written from the perspective of what happens when your kids get older.

  5. I'm one if Hillary's sisters. One thing she left out, we almost always slept at our grandparents' house Friday nights too. Now as a mom of two teenagers and a preteen, (OMG!!) I still have Famiy Night every Friday! We go next door, eat dinner with their family and play board games or watch movies. It's our together time. My 16 year old doesn't want to go every week, so I've told him every other week is fine, his girlfriend however, coming from a family that has no together time set aside, insists on coming every week.
    On the note of hoping your children grow up with the same experiences with their cousins', being the mother of those cousins, I can say for sure, it will happen! Often times, when mom is babysitting for our sisters' toddlers and she will call and ask if my kids want to come. They SCREAM at the chance! My 16 year old SON has offered to our sister any babysitting services needed while you're here!
    The base was set by our parents, the future is up to us!



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