Here are two disturbing statistics:
On average, parents spend 38.5 minutes per week engaged in meaningful conversation with their kids. (A.C. Nielson, Co.)
The average American kid spends 1,197 minutes per week watching television.
What struck me when I read this is that I probably spend more time in the shower every week than I spend really talking with my kids. I don’t know about you guys, but that seems like a problem to me! While we are busy doing other things, the TV is raising our kids!
The typical response is, “We just don’t have enough time!” Between working late, soccer practice, ballet recitals, and all the other things that we fill our lives with, how do we find time for just talking with our kids? How about starting with family dinners.
The benefits of sitting down together as a family can be huge. Older kids and teens who routinely eat together with their families have been found less likely to get involved with drugs and alcohol and get better grades. For younger kids, family dinners are more important than play, story time and other family activities in the development of vocabulary. (Harvard Research, 1996)
So why not take the time to sit down and eat a meal each day as a family. Sounds to me like it can only help to strengthen our families. What about finding the time, you ask? I guarantee that if we can balance and schedule all of our meetings, workout classes, kids activities, etc.; we can find a way to make time for dinner together with our families. Set aside the time at the beginning of the week, before it fills up with less important things. If you are busy at work, leave 30 minutes early for the office so you don’t have to stay late. When we want to, we can always find more time for something.
At the end of the day, what is more important than knowing that you have made every effort to give your family everything that it deserves.