It's ironic that while I create this post my wife and I are in separate rooms. I'm completing a blog entry. My wife is completing an online grocery order. In argument though I've just turned on the oven and about to bake two Pampas Lemon Meringue Pies. We intend to consume the treat after we have completed our jobs. We'll enjoy our dessert with freshly brewed coffee. I have 25 minutes.
I'm certain we are all aware that technology can distruct people from what really matters. You only have to take a moment to observe people in a rush to realise the pace of life is accelerating and that opportunities and moments to treasure are being ignored or receiving limited notice. I may be taking the Bible out of context, however, scripture does say "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his [online] life for his [family and] friends" John 15:13. It is vitally important that we manage time according to priorities and family must always come first.
Families must develop rituals to create a sense of comradery. During these times, every member must put aside their differences, interests and distractions to instead focus on each other. Eye contact and personable conversation are the key ingredients. Unity is established when people assemble with common cause and as a results of regrouping improvement in health, strength and wellbeing will be witnessed. When troops are at war and are called to gather they are empowered to continue their work. In like manner families must create opportunities to assemble and create bonds and sense of unity. Family must be family and in order for this to be achieved, each member must "lay down his life" for the benefit of others.
Social media and gaming have become an addiction to many. In truth the addiction can be prevented through establishing boundaries and enabling restrictions on mobile devices. For children to reduce their online activity they must first see it models by parents. Sitting in the local cafe with children while browsing Facebook certainly doesn't demonstrate the value of relationships and composing a text while driving, dven while using voice recognition is a prime example of technology being valued more than life itself.
The fight against online activity is a difficult battle. To create a sense of unity it is essential to develop family rituals and one way of doing this is scheduling time to be together.
Every Friday fortnight my family and I have Fish and Chips and enjoy Better Homes and Gardens. We soon put the children to bed and my wife and I then relax and unwind on our monsterous couch. Saturday is a day of rest with minimal activity and when I take the children for a walk around the duck ponds I leave my mobile device at home. The reason being that parents must demonstrate acceptable behaviour. I disconnect to make the most of every opportunity and instead deliberately connect to my children. Attending church on Sunday can also become a family ritual and Sunday Roast dinner is always a family favourite.
There are many options that can be employed to create family rituals. Boardgames, pizza nights, camping, cycling and reading are all fantastic ideas. Travelling to the local video store and selecting a movie to watch as a family is a great family tradition. Kids may love gaming but the truth is they love being loved. I encourage families to establish a regular event within the week to invest in each other's lives. The highest scores in Candy Crush, the updated Facebook Status or the management of emails amount to absolutely nothing compared to the value of conversation, love, honesty and kindness.