Is Family As Important To You As It Should Be?
By Tom Herrin
All of us have families of some kind. Some people stay in close contact while others move hundreds or thousands of miles away. There are some people who would prefer to forget about family for good reasons. Others of us may want to strengthen our families but may be struggling with it. One thing is for sure, if you have children there is a real need for quality time. You only need to look around, watch the news, or read any kind of media to know that connections between children and their parents are in trouble.
Electronics Can Be Great, But …
We are living in a continually changing age. If someone doesn’t have some electronic devices, many people think they are deprived. All we need to do is look around us, wherever we are, and we see people sitting, walking, standing while interacting with their devices. If children don’t interact with parents at early ages, some of them never learn to socialize at all. Learning to use the tools we are given correctly can be a challenge. None of us need to fall victim to the urge to give our kids something to occupy them without spending quality time.
We Have to Start the Relationship
Most children thrive on attention from parents or other individuals. I always tried to make it a point to avoid tuning out my children (by reading the paper or some other thing) when they asked for my attention. If they asked something, I tried to look them in the face to answer them. We can go a step farther. We can take the time to read to them and ask them about their day and their interests. We always found that our children liked to help. It can be a great time to instill work ethics. Eating as a family was a must at our house. Our evening meal was a great time for conversation that included everyone. Spending time around a table can strengthen ties, whether you are eating, playing games, or just talking. If we have core beliefs, we need to teach them to our children, and they need to hear us tell them we love them.
Don’t Forget Your Spouse or Significant Other
One phrase I always like to remember is from Eleanor Roosevelt, who may have been this nation's greatest first lady. I may be paraphrasing, but when asked who she put first, her husband or her children, her response was her husband (President Franklin D. Roosevelt) and together they put their children first. Spending time with the mother or father of your children is important. No matter what the family dynamics are, we can make that work because family is still the basic unit of our society.
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