Quality Family Moments
LYRICS ON SCREEN ADDED BY JACK LIM
“You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Families today are pulled in so many directions, it’s near impossible to find an open night on the communal calendar to stay home and spend time together. Even when parents make a concerted effort to limit extracurricular activities, things eventually reach critical mass, with dad running back and forth between soccer fields while mom juggles music lessons and grocery shopping.
Even though many studies point to the importance of quality time together for parents and children, most American families continue to hurtle forward at breakneck speed with no opportunities even to think about slowing down. So how can families build healthier, happier home lives? Well, for starters, we need to develop some new habits: say “no” to things that just aren’t important and “yes” to that game of Monopoly with the kids.
That may be easier said than done, but if we’re serious about reclaiming our family as Priority #1, a certain amount of family time must be non-negotiable – like a doctor’s appointment or board meeting we wouldn’t think of missing – only more so.
“I have a tendency to be a ‘yes’ person. I take on more and more tasks, because of the challenge and the opportunity they provide, without stopping to look at what will give to make room for the new duties. I did this last year to the point where I ultimately had to call a halt for a week and take a ‘time inventory,’” says Lisa Hendey, founder of Catholicmom.com and author of “The Handbook for Catholic Moms: Nurturing Your Heart, Mind, Body, and Soul.”
Hendey went on to decument how she spent her time for one full week, jotting down even one minute increments. At the end of the week she was ‘shocked by the results,” realizing that her days were “packed to the gills” even during slow weeks.
“I’d let things go undone, I felt exhausted and overwhelmed, and my spiritual life had been largely neglected,” she writes in her book, recommending that busy parents everywhere take a similar time inventory. She also recommends getting the whole family involved. “When we involve our children in our own time-management and productivity efforts, we teach them tools that will last them a lifetime.”
If you have any doubt that families desperately need a time inventory, take a look at these sobering statistics from a report by Anita Gurian, Ph.D., of New York University Child Study Center:
- Americans spend only 40 minutes a week playing with their children.
- Working couples talk to one another an average of only 12 minutes a day.
- In the past 20 years, structured sports time has doubled while family meal time has declined 33 percent and family vacations are down 28 percent.
- Teens who are present at two or fewer family dinners per week are twice as likely to smoke daily and get drunk monthly compared to teens eating dinner with their families five times per week.
For blended families or single parents, the time crunch is multiplied many times over. With children spending weekends at alternating homes, or with no one else to divide up responsibilities, parents in blended or single-parent families can begin to feel as if they’re fighting a losing battle. The key is to find some sort of community support, either through extended family or close friends. Build a network that will provide not only the occasional back-up when you need to be in two places at once but also the emotional and spiritual support when stress starts to get the better of you. No one can raise a family alone. It turns out that it really does take a village.
“The moments I hold most dear are those that arise unbidden in the course of any day – small, evanescent, scarcely worth noticing except for the fact that I am being offered, just for a second, a glimpse into another’s soul.” – Katrina Kenison, Mitten Strings for God: Reflections for Mothers in a Hurry
Family Time: Not Just for Dinner
No matter how busy our home life may be. It’s ciritical that we find time to eat together at least a few nights every week. But what if it’s just not possible some weeks? Here’s an idea: What if we eat breakfast together on a day when dinner won’t work? What if we have cocoa and cookies on a night when we miss family dinner? What if we put aside the household chores on a Saturday to make a special meal? No one said it has to be gourmet. Let our new motto be: Eating PB&J as a family is better than eating filet mignon alone.
Family as Foundation
When it comes to reshaping our home lives to include more family time, there are lots of options. A few things, though, stand out as requirements. At the top of the list is family meal time. Once upon a time, family dinner was the gold standard. But with the increase in two-parent working families and the focus on sports, dance and other extracurricular activities, it has become near impossible for families to eat together every night. In addition to meal time, a strong family relies on a strong marriage, a relationship between husband and wife that is not only loving and loyal at its core but obviiously so to the children. Seeing mom and dad in a caring relationship helps children understand how to build their own loving relationships – within the existing family and eventually in their own adult lives and families.
“If we are not aware of the effects of time pressures on the family, we run the risk of living lives of continual acceleration, non-stop doing, and passing that on to our children. This is the trend in our world today,” write Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn in their book “Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting.” “Sometime, somehow, stopping and stillness need to be valued, cultivated, and brought into the home to restore balance and to nurture those aspects of being that are best touched through non-doing.”
“Non-doing.” There’s a concept that’s foreign to our culture today. Sometimes doing nothing with our children is the greatest gift we can give. Think about your home life for a moment. Do you stand at the kitchen counter with the phone to your ear or the computer at your fingertips, nodding at your children but not really listening? While technology has given us the ability to stay connected with friends and colleagues, it brings with it never ending virtual chatter that distracts us and keeps us from really hearing each other.
So making time for family not only means saying “no” to outside commitmenst but to those inside-the-home time-wasters that vie for our attention. We can start to turn things around by turning off computers, phones and TV during dinner. Or, if we’re really brave, we can make a habit of turning off technology from dinner time through the kids’ bed time so that no one has reason to stare at a screen rather than took at each other.
“The family meal is a special family way of celebrating the presence of God in our midst. It is an opportunity for prayer and play. It is a place where family life can reach a certain crescendo of intensity.” – David M. Thomas, A community of Love: Spirituality of Family Life
Strength in Numbers
In the “old days,” families could rely on grandparents and aunts and uncles to help strengthen their bonds of love. Today, with families spread out, we have to get creative. Everyone needs an extra hand now and then. If we have close friends hearby, we can build a network that will catch us when we feel like we’re about to collapse. Car-pooling to events, sharing potluck meals, dividing the work of a school or churh committee can free us up for more family time and create a small community with lifelong friendships.
Making Every Minute Count
So how do we go from overloaded and stressed to calm and balanced? We can’t expect to do it all at once. We can begin slowly, adding in things that build up while getting rid of things that tear down:
- Set aside one night a week as “family night.” No one goes out, no one hides in their room, no one sits in front of a TV or computer alone.
- Find simple ways to spend time together. Cook a meal together, go for a family walk or bike ride after dinner, play a board game, read a book aloud or get out musical instruments and have a sing-along. Or simply make a snack, sit around the table and have each person share at least one thing that happened that day.
- Children love one-on-one time with a parent. We can make a regular “date” with each of our children. Take a son out to breakfast or a daughter out for a manicure. Go on a hike or visit the library. It doesn’t have to cost a lot, but the dividends will be huge.
- Savor unexpected moments – car rides, waiting for a movie or sporting event to start, sitting in a doctor’s office. These seemingly wasted minutes can be a great time to talk with our children and get insight into what might be going on in their lives outside the home.
- Volunteer together. There is nothing like serving others to bring a family together. Work in a soup kitchen, visit a nursing home, join a Habitat for Humanity team. The options are endless, and it’s a win-win situation. We get quality time together, and someone else gets a much-needed service or visit.
“Family life presents ordinary opportunities to nurture children’s faith, to introduce them to such building-block concepts as trust, respect, belief, service, love and reliance on a higher power.” – Tom McGrath, Raising Faith-Filled Kids: Ordinary Opportunities to Nurture Spirituality at Home
“A happy family is but an earlier heaven.” – John Bowring
(Source: Christopher News Note 536, The Christophers, 5 Hanover Square, New York, NY 10004; Tel. 1-888-298-4050; Email: [email protected].)
Hereunder are other articles for you to read or watch:
1. Getting to know you, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=284
2. Be Positive, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=288
3. Love and Marriage, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=292
4. Endless Love – Marriage after all, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=294
5. Say it with love, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=298
6. Quality family moments, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=300
7. Secret of successful marriage, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=302
8. The vocation of marriage, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=1968
9. Marriage as Covenant, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=1974
10. Humility: Foundation for Marital Happiness, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=1986
11. Gratitude: Foundation for marriage, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=1980
12. True Meaning of marriage, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=1972
13. Marriage and incompatibility, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=2112
14. Love is a garden, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=2116
15. Three kinds of love, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=2095
Here-under are some articles about marriage for you to read or watch:
- Getting to know you, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=284
- Be Positive, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=288
- Love and Marriage, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=292
- Endless Love – Marriage after all, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=294
- Say it with love, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=298
- Quality family moments, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=300
- Secret of successful marriage, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=302
- The vocation of marriage, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=1968
- Marriage as Covenant, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=1974
- Humility: Foundation for Marital Happiness, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=1986
- Gratitude: Foundation for marriage, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=1980
- True Meaning of marriage, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=1972
- Marriage and incompatibility, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=2112
- Love is a garden, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=2116
- Three kinds of love, please click this link: http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/?p=2095
“God himself is the author of marriage” (GS 48:1). The vocation of marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator. Marriage is not a purely human institution despite the many variations it may have undergone through the centuries in different cultures, social structures, and spiritual attitudes (CCC:1603)
FBI Homosexuality. Many believe the Freemasons are simply a centuries-old charitable fraternity. However, the Catholic Church has consistently condemned Freemasonry more than any other error in its history because it promotes indifferentism, naturalism, communism, and other dangerous philosophies.
Homosexuality, the Grave Evil Presented as Good, Part 1
Homosexuality, Question and Answer Part 2
Homosexuals and Freemasons inside the Church
“The Rite of Sodomy” Homosexuality in the Roman Catholic Church
Mic’d Up “Pink Money and the Homosexual Mafia”
Michael Voris gives a series of short talks, answering questions coming in response to his talk on homosexuality in Nigeria.
In this talk from Nigeria, Michael Voris speaks about the grave evil presented as good – homosexuality. “Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity (cf. Gen 19:1-29; Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:10; 1 Tim 1:10), tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered” (CDF, Persona humana 8). They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved” (CCC: 2357).
The Cost of Abortion & Contraception Deception
Michael Voris talks an in-depth discussion of the true, financial cost of abortion and its effects to the United States. “The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being’s right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death” (CDF, Donum vitae III; CCC: 2273).
FBI Contraception Deception.
Modern man has divorced sex from procreation through his embrace of contraception. This Contraception Deception within the CatholicChurch has come about by a near total betrayal of the faithful by their shepherds and leaders.
Contraception & the New Dark Age, Part 1 by Dr. Martin Brenner
Where we are and how we got here. Join Dr. Martin Brenner for this first of a four-part series on the moral evils of contraception.
Contraception and Salvation, Part 2 by Dr. Martin Brenner
Join Dr. Martin Brenner for the second of a four-part series on the moral evils of contraception.
Contraception and Sanctification. Part 3 by Dr. Martin Brenner
Prayer and the Liturgy. Dr. Martin Brenner discusses how contraception is a detriment to our spiritual lives and marital relationships. The infallibility of the Church’s teaching on this matter is also discussed.
Contraception and Sexual Ethics. Part 4 by Dr. Martin Brenner
The Proper Practice. Dr. Martin Brenner describes the importance of spreading the message about the sexual ethic and goes into detail about the alternatives to contraception and their practices.
CIA: The Rockefeller Foundation
We are used to thinking of the Rockefellers as simply a byword for wealth, power and financial success. Perhaps we might think of them as determined businessmen or see them as great philanthropists. But the truth is far different; the Rockefeller Foundation is actively undermining the Catholic Church, and in the process, attempting to erase man’s natural orientation to the eternal.
Global Warming Unmasked
Are the environmental movements and groups simply devoted to laudable, correct stewardship of God’s creation, or do they have a more sinister, hidden agenda? Is “global warming” being used as an excuse for something far darker? Is the final goal of the liberal elites behind the push of junk science population control, eugenics and Gaia worship?
Mic’d Up “Is Contraception Killing the Church?”
This week on Mic’d Up we’ll be tackling the terrible scourge of Contraception on the Church. Michael Hichborn and Rey Flores from American Life League will join us to expose Catholic Relief Services complicity with Organizations who support contraception and to Discuss The Pill Kills Day of Action 2014. Also joining us will be Lynn Mills who will be discussing the continued prayer rally at Providence Park Hospital in the Archdiocese of Detroit because of their complicity in abortion, contraception and sterilization. Following that same thread we’ll break down the announcement from Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron concerning the crisis of parish closings facing Detroit. Also dropping by will be author James Kalb, to discuss the plague of pluralism on the Church’s Hierarchy.