It seems to me that our culture has lost sight of what it means to be a family. We blame lots of things for why this is happening, with blended families, both parents working and general busyness. Is that what we really want for our families?
Now is the time to take responsibility for why things are the way they are and take some steps to improve the situation.
Here are 6 essential ingredients which go together to make a balanced family.
FUN! How many of our families have fun together? It seems that having fun is crucial, but we seem to give it a low priority. What do you do for fun? In the past I’ve read stories to our kids while the dishes were getting done! One trick is looking for ways to make work a fun time.
ACTIVITIES! Stop and analyse what you do together as a family? What activities draw you to each other? Take time tyo recognise the effects of common things like tv, homework, sporting fixtures, music and instead of seeing these as divisive issues, look for ways to share these activities together.
MEALS! Sharing food is a basic communal exercise, but with increasing availability of fast food, both parents working and the wide number of options being offered to our children, it seems that we are giving this a low priority in our families. When I was a child meal times were often long and drawn out but they were always entertaining. Maybe we are losing this art, so why not work on it!
INVOLVEMENT! Are you really involved in your child’s life? Are you interested enough to help them with their homework, or read the novels they are studying? Yes, this takes time, but it is time well spent. In fact, we cannot delegate this responsibility to others, we must be involved ourselves.
LISTENING! This is pretty obvious, but it seems that we are often too busy or too preoccupied to really listen and give appropriate feedback. So make a conscious choice today to give 100% attention to what your child is saying today.
Chaplain Ian S Whitley