How much time does your child sit in front of the television, or on the computer? What kind of shows do they watch? What kind of games does your child play on the computer? What kind of images do the children see on the video games? When the kids go to the movie theater, what are they being told is a cool way of living? How does that correlate with the values you try to instill? To take a page from 'Tiger Mom's' example, it matters greatly what our kids see and hear, and what they are exposed to. Maintaining family cohesiveness today requires alert parents.
In a world were there are competing interests in gaining our children's attention, what do we allow to impact/ influence them? Likewise, what is most important in our lives will be evidenced by what we most focus on. We are role models. It is up to us parents, Educators, and the community to be the gatekeepers to the minds and hearts of our children. This is a tremendously hard task as children get older, yet setting a strong foundation early on in their lives, can help them better navigate through life, and, God willing, raise their own families one day. Parameters and boundaries give structure and are important, and I believe that a renewed focus has to be on reinforcing/ supporting the family unit. This is the first place they learn to initiate and sustain conversation, where they learn to socialize, and become thoughtful, independent thinkers. But it has seriously been crowded out. Big time!
Some ideas to move forward:
Live in the now. Turn that tv off more often, put on some music that is relaxing, play a board game your kids with, cook a dinner altogether, put on a show and have fun with each other. Role model for your kids how to be with one another. As you know, they will do what you do, not what you say.
If you are consistent at this as parents, everyone reaps rewards for decades to come.
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