Have you ever played the game, Boggle? It is a word game that comes with a set of dice with letters on every side. You place the letters in a container with a lid and shake. The letters fall randomly in slots on the base and you try and create words out of adjoining letters.
So many families operate like a game of Boggle. They throw tons of stuff in the container, shake everything up, see where things land on any given day, and then try to make sense out of the chaos, and of course, try to come out winners in everything they do by bedtime!
Which list below best describes how your family spends their time?
|LIST A||LIST B|
|cooking & eating together||kids participating in organized sports or activities|
|engaging in family activities||getting chores done|
|quiet study or reading time||social networking on computers and/or television|
|practicing your faith||working before breakfast or past dinnertime|
These are not mutually exclusive. They are designed to reveal where the emphasis lies.
Modern day family priorities have shifted dramatically and have changed our focus.
- We spend more time driving our kids around to activities than cooking them healthy meals.
- We push our kids to make the top sports team but don’t care that they ate fried chicken nuggets for lunch.
- We will plan a party or night out with friends but not a family activity.
- We are stressed, overwhelmed and tired managing a busy family when everyone, including our kids, yearn for some free time.
- We are obsessed with our kids being the smartest and “gifted” because we think it reflects who we are.
- We center our lives around our kids instead of our marriage.
I have lived these mistakes in my own family so I’m not here to point a finger.
Now at age 48, with kids nearly all grown up, and having been in the business world 25 years, here is what I wish I knew:
- It doesn’t matter that my son won a soccer tournament in 1995 but it does matter that he has good eating habits and his cholesterol is low (it was sky high at age 3!)
- You don’t have to be “gifted” to get into college and succeed in this world.
- Teaching kids how to fail and get back up and handle rejection is more valuable to their future than celebrating a win.
- Cooking and eating together is one of the best things you can do for your children and your relationship with them.
- Academics come first. Everything else is a privilege not a right.
- Showing how to take control of their own health is as important as teaching them to read.
- Teach them to respect you as parents, be patient, and delay gratification by NOT revolving every waking moment around them.
Even if your child is a star on a playing field, in the band, or performer on a stage, recognize that those activities come and go.
Their healthy habits travel with them and inside them into adulthood.