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The Nonstop Family

In our hurried culture, family happiness may be falling by the wayside.

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“This sounds a little critical,” she said, “but use electronics less. Instead of TVs in cars, use car trips as an opportunity to bond. Read out loud. Play car games. Save time for silliness and spontaneity.”
Dr. Berry also says to greet family members when they come home at the end of the day. “Every culture does this. Say, ‘I’m glad you’re home.’ Put toddlers on your lap before you do anything else and talk to them until they get up. It won’t take long, but you’ve enjoyed each other and reconnected. Turn off the electronics and talk.”
While children will have lots of teachers, parenting is one relationship that shouldn’t be outsourced. Dr. Berry says that nobody else is going to be your children’s parent. You can focus on being the one your children play with, talk to and come to for comfort.
“Decide what makes your family particularly happy,” Dr. Berry said. “Then go do it.”

The Family Versus the Children’s Activities

created by Robert J. Hudson, M.D.

 Are you on a merry-go-round of children’s activities? Are you questioning that you have too much to do?

If you are, here are a few more questions to ponder your current state and help you to evaluate how your family spends its time.

Do you fall into bed each night drained of energy?

Do you worry about providing all the necessary opportunities for your children?

Is it really necessary for your children to have planned activities 3-5 times a week for 2-3 children?

What are the lessons being learned and are they really lasting experiences?

Is the stress of afternoon carpools and “who is going to this practice and who is going to the other child’s game” a weekly routine?

When was the last time your family ate five meals together in one week?

Is eating fast food on the run, having meals with only a part of the family, or sitting down to dinner after 8 pm really beneficial?

Are your children’s activities really only for them, or would you or your spouse miss it if they quit?

Whose idea was the current activities, yours, or your child’s?

When was the last time you and your spouse sat quietly and just talked?

Is your marriage less of a priority than your child’s activities?

When was the last time you just “hung out” with your children?

Do you regularly have one on one time with each of your children? Is that less of a priority than your child’s activities?

Are you feeling guilty yet? Why are you feeling guilty? Are you not doing something you feel you should, or something you shouldn’t?

Have you contemplated what your family’s real priorities are, or do your child’s wants prevail?

Will playing sports at 7,9,11 years old teach lessons you cannot?

Are there lessons of life your child is not learning because they are at practice?

Life is certainly a trade off of time priorities in today’s world. Will the trade offs you are making prepare your children optimally for the world they will face?

Today’s families spend 22 hours less together than 20 years ago. That is 24 months, 2 years by age 18.

Maybe it is time for a meeting of the parental minds to address your family’s priorities.



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