Only 28% of American families with children eat together seven days a week, and only 75% manage four nights a week. The percentages of families eating together seven nights a week in Canada and England are 40% and 38%.I got a haircut the other night and the lady who does my hair told me that the local Pop Warner football league has football practice five nights a week for two hours a night. Of course, she said, that's only for the month of August... in September, when school starts, the practices drop down to three nights a week (for two hours a night). I wonder if the above referenced survey considered a family eating burgers from McDonalds, while rushing to football practice, as equivalent to a family eating together? Meanwhile, in a conversation at work I let a co-worker know that our 8 year old has never been to a movie theater. After the shock wore off, he proceeded to warn me not to shelter my kids too much - you know - they won't be ready for the real world. Okay let's ignore, for the moment, the fact that virtually everyone shelters their kids to some degree, and that this guy has no clue as to the reasons why our daughter has not been to a movie theater. What exactly constitutes getting a child ready for the real world? By the ripe old age of 8 I'd say she should have been made aware of the existence and love of God, the inherent danger of trusting a stranger (without needing to know the precise details of why), the self-sacrificing love that her mother and father have for her (and how that love is part of a family structure), the existence of evil acts perpetrated by humans (again, without needing to know the precise details), the interactions within small social groups (such as those found in ballet class or the girl scouts), and so forth. In other words, the process of preparing a child for the real world involves intimate interaction between that child and her parents. It seems to me that a trip to the movie theater doesn't rank too high on the list.
Friday, August 06, 2004
No time left for you...
From the March issue of Touchstone: