Extreme individualism has weakened our family structure over the last 5 decades. Busy families, which are too active in different directions to spend quality time with one another, uninterested fathers and/or mothers who get absorbed in on-line games, instead of reading or talking to their children or spouse, has contributed to an epidemic of broken families. More than 50 years ago, families did not have the distractions that families do today. Imagine no televisions, computers, game systems, Ipods, cell phones, no bi-weekly baseball practices coupled with dance, piano, and karate practices! These older families spent most of their extra time together, talking, singing, and just making their own fun. But after generations of families with a self-interested agenda, the problem of unhappy, stressed families has only become more rampant and the idea of a broken family is becoming the norm.
Should we have our family chase after those things that the world thinks is good and fun? If all the family members become more family/God focused and less worldly focused, they will become happier and less stressed. The first step toward this happy less stressed filled life is prayer! Often, each day, pray together as a family, Mom, Dad and kids. And yes, both parents need to be included whenever possible! Kids need to see that praying is something important enough to draw the attention of both parents.
The next step is to drop the extra needless stuff that your lives are centered around. It may be hard to discern if an activity is necessary and have the strength to choose to drop it. For example, you can make a decision to only check personal e-mails once a day, only carry a cell phone for true emergencies, limit the television and games systems to an hour a day, limit the family to one extra curricular activity (preferably, one you can do together), eat your meals together, and turn off the music/computer when your kids are around and talk to them.
Another thing that can be a wonderful step to helping the family is to trash, trash, trash, and organize, organize, organize!!! Get rid of all that extra stuff that is all over the house. If you haven’t used it in the past year it’s not necessary. Trash it! Then, organize so you can find everything you need when you need it. Then do it all over again, it’s a never ending process. The less clutter in your life, the more you can focus on family and God. This entire process of simplifying your activities and house as well as praying will be a fight in the beginning but it’s worth it. In the end your entire family will be happier for it. The process is much easier for everyone if both parents can decide that it’s what they need to do to make their lives better.
Isn’t your family worth it?