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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ways to Keep the Family Connected - Part 1

Soooo, if you have been reading my posts the past few days, you may remember that I said Tuesday that "tomorrow" I would continue the family thoughts.  It didn't happen.  Sorry about that.  It's spring break and my schedule is erratic! :)

The following are the first five points Dr. Gilmore gave on keeping the family committed and connected.  I'll do the next five points next week. My thoughts follow the points.

1.  Prioritize
I have a ladies class lesson I've done showing how, instead of trying to list the most important things in life from 1 to 10 (for example), we should make a circle within a circle....and make sections within the outer circle. GOD is in the center circle and everything else in life is written in each of those sections in the outer circle.  That way GOD is in the center of EVERY part of life.  Example: In our family, God is the center.  In our work, God is in the center.  In our entertainment choices, God is in the center.

2.  Monitor Outside Activity (meaning "away from the family" activity)
I heard a preacher say once that he limited his children to one activity and recommended doing that to parents for their own families.  In a small town, I have to say that is really hard to do!  Students here are involved in a LOT of things all at once, sometimes because if they weren't there wouldn't be enough players on the team, etc.  However, it's really easy to become too busy with "stuff and things" and allow all of that to get in the way of our spiritual lives and our family commitments, so we must be willing to say no some times.  I know it's hard.  We face it every day.  I have a theory, though.  I appreciate coaches and have some family and friends that are coaches, but I also believe they would and will rule the world if we allow them to do so. (Family/friends/kid's coaches.....please forgive me.  I mean no harm!! :0) ha ha ha...(I said this at a ladies day event a few years ago, and a coaches wife was in attendance.  The next morning at worship she said she told her husband what I said!  I was a little worried until she said, "He agrees with you!" :)

3. Control Work Schedule
Money is a necessity in every one's life, but many of the "things" of life are not really necessities.  What is that saying, "We spend money we don't have to impress people we don't like"??  For some, maybe that's true.  For others, maybe we work and work and work so that we can have things that are wants instead of needs...all the while giving away more and more precious family time.  Our children grow up so quickly!  Time spent WITH them is so much more important than the MATERIAL THINGS we might give them.  Children would much rather have their parents around and involved in their lives than not, even if they don't want to admit it publicly.

4.  Develop Family Philosophy of Leisure and Together Time
Obviously each individual in a family is going to have different ideas of what is enjoyable and fun.  For one, it might be working in the yard.  For another it might be board games.  For another, maybe it's TV or a movie.  We're all different.  So we have to be creative, don't we?  Maybe a family game night one week, a movie the next week, and everyone helping in the yard another week.  Or, maybe write down ideas and draw an activity from a jar.  The important thing is just being together - without distractions of cell phones, computers, etc.  The important thing is talking...communicating with one another.  There have been times in our lives when I have thought it was a treat if all six of us were in the car together!  Sounds strange, I know, but at times that doesn't happen very often.  The older our children get and more involved in those activities I mentioned above, the less often we're all together. 

5. No Amount of Money Can Fix the Problems in the Family
I really liked this point!  Isn't it true?  No dollar amount can fix what is lacking.  No dollar amount can make what is bad, good.  When problems arise, only you and I can fix them.  We have to work together within the family unit to make things better.  Stifling anger and harboring resentments will only make things worse.  Some people have trouble letting others know their true feelings.  On the other hand, some have trouble with controlling their emotions.  There's a happy medium where problems are worked on and not ignored.  Problems might not can be fixed, but they can be handled.  It doesn't have to involve money, but it does take work.  It's worth the work to help your family be the very best that it can be.

More points to follow next week!

1 comment:

Wa Wa Waughs said...

I would like some advice on how to keep connected when kids are in their 20's! With different holiday breaks and not much time off from their newly acquired jobs in other towns, we suddenly find ourselves with not much together time. Our family dynamic has totally changed with just one left at home and it's tough! I'm trying to figure out something special to do in spring or summer with us all together that doesn't cost an arm and a leg!

 
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