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Friday, April 17, 2009

Soap Box Saturday

Tonight was a rare occassion in our home. All six of us were home on a Friday night! It was so exciting! No ballgames, no stock shows, no meetings, no obligations. When I realized this was going to be a free night, I decided to make a big meal of roast, carrots, potatoes, green beans, gravy, and rolls. That's typically a Sunday-after-worship meal for us, so the rest of the family was really excited to come home and smell roast on a Friday. We all enjoyed our rare Friday night, Sunday-after-worship meal together.

So, what's my
Soap Box this Saturday?
Family time around the table used to be the norm. Old sitcoms (Leave It To Beaver, Andy Griffith)show the family around the dinner table every evening, and I'm sure that was the way it was then. But, nowadays, with our lives busier and busier, the family meal time has diminished. Honestly, in March, it seemed that we were never home together in the evening. Too many activites and obligations (most of which we put upon ourselves, I know).

After becoming a little annoyed by our rare family meals, I began to put a star on our family calendar for every night we ate together, just so we realized how few times it really was. April has been much, much better! Maybe we are making more of an effort to be together because of seeing the lack of stars, but a lot of it has to do with certain school activites ceasing for the year or job responsibilities that require more at some times than others. It goes in spurts throughout the year in our family and it probably does in yours, too.

When we eat together at the table the TV is never on. We use this time for visiting with one another and enjoying our time together. Occassionally we all eat in the living room and watch something together, but it's a treat, not the expected. How does your family do meal time? Do you struggle with the same things we do?

Have you ever heard of
Turnoff TV Week? Our family has participated in it for the past eight years. The organization begins the event on Monday, April 20th. We start ours on Sunday, April 19th, since it's the first day of the week, and the TV stays off all week. Even though we don't watch TV all the time anyway, it's still missed in the beginning of the week. However, by Saturday each year, we don't even give it a thought. In fact, I believe it was last year, we even forgot that we "could" turn it on! It stayed off another day or two! When the kids were little, I'll admit it was harder, because that meant no Barney or Disney movies, either! But, our children are now used to the every April routine. The organization's goal is to encourage reduction in screen time in an effort to build stronger families. I did notice they've added a date in the fall. Check out the link above for more info.

After our meal tonight, we went for a family walk. What a rare and enjoyable Friday evening!

So what do you think? Are family meals around the table rare for you? Are your meals centered around the TV? Will you give TV Turnoff Week a try? Maybe for your family the whole week of the TV off wouldn't work or seems impossible, but maybe you can make an effort to cut down on the screen time. Remember, our goal is stronger families and more time together. It's worth it!

Be sure to let me know your thoughts!

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