I was on Facebook over the weekend and saw the headline pop up in my news feed: 20 Tips for Creating a Family-Centered Life and it immediately caught my attention.
I think that in this day and time, even with the best of intentions, it is often hard to have a family-centered life. But, and this is important, but with a little effort, a lot of the things that were listed are definitely attainable. I think that this list of 20 is awesome and could have gone even higher, but I wanted to reflect on some of these items individually.
1. Mom and Dad have a consistent date night alone together at least once a month. – This is HUGE! Parents, before you were parents, you were a couple. You have to have adult time. You have to remember why you came together in the first place to create this family. Without each other and working together, you become seperate units that will wake up one day and question why you are even together.
3. Entire family gathers for dinner at least 3 times a week. – I grew up in a home that when I was young, we ate every night at the table and as my family grew apart, so did dinner time. My wife and I have it a point, to sit down with the boys every night at the dinner table while they eat. We try to eat at that same time as well, but sometimes that doesn’t happen. But if nothing else, we are there together, asking the boys questions, engaging with them and hopefully setting examples for when they have children. We usually put on some music, something low key, often times Jim Brickman.
9. Dad prays with each of his children before they go to bed each night. – I FAIL at this one, big time. This is something that I have really struggled with and have tried to do better about. But this is a big one and one that I really want to do better on.
10. Weekly church attendance. – Again, as a family we have FAILED this one. We were really diligent about this for the first 2 years of the boys lives, but the last 8 months, we just have falling into a pattern of not going. And a bad pattern at that. We’ve made excuses, but really at the end of the day, this is on my wife and myself. We’ve talked about doing better, but we have to talk less and get back into the habit of going.
12. Dad’s job does not keep him working a lot of late nights or weekends. – When I am home, I am home. No work on the weekend or night, unless it is an emergency and thus far, there have not been any emergencies that could not wait until the next day or at least until after the boys goto bed.
13. Entire family has at least one week of vacation time together per year. – This is really important. This years vacation might look different, but we are still planning on getting away for a few days. It is important to have family time and even more importantly than that, to have family down time away from home.
17. Dad personally knows all of his children’s teachers and is involved in the PTA. – I’ll go a step further than just school. I think that it is crucial for Dad’s to also goto their children’s doctor appointments. I’ve been to every Dr. appointment, except for 2 and I’ve been to every Parent Teacher conference for the boys. It is important as Dad’s to be involved in our children’s lives, because how can we expect to raise them, if we are missing information and not informed.
A family-centered life is an important foundation in my children’s lives. I hope that they will one day recognize how involved I am and will do the same when they have children.