Take back your Family in Three Steps

happy young family have fun on beach run and jump  at sunset

When I suggest to parents that they need to carve out regular time each day as a family to work together, play together, talk with each other and pray together, it is met with an almost existential level of angst.  “How are we supposed to find time to do all that!?”

Catholic families have swallowed the secular lie that if our children are not enrolled in 3000 activities on Wednesday evening, then we are depriving them and they will be
socially inept.

While sports, music lessons, classes and community involvements can play an important role in creating a fulfilling life, when these things threaten the primary work of the family, it is time to make a change.
Catholic parents can evangelise the culture – and insist on re-humanising society – by reclaiming our families in three simple (if not necessarily easy) steps.

  1. Start Small: Ask yourselves…“If we were to carve out a least a little bit of time each day (say, 15-20 minutes) to work, play, talk, and pray together, what would we do?”  Come up with a short list of ideas and discuss it as a family. Start doing some of those things now – even periodically – so that your family can get used to being intentional about being together.
  2. Family Time Comes First: Think of extra-curricular activities – including your own – as secondary to the need to make time to work, play, talk, and pray together as a family. Growing your family’s relationship is the single most important activity you can do in the course of your week.
  3. Set Boundaries: Tell your kids’ coaches that your kids won’t be attending practices or games when they conflict with family commitments–especially your family’s commitment to attend Mass together. Tell the various ministry heads to schedule your family for reading, altar serving, and cantoring at the same Mass.
    Make them work around you, not the other way around. You do not need their permission or approval.

It’s time to start a revolution for the family.

Chances are, the people you have let think they own your children won’t like it. Tough. Revolutions are never easy.  But perhaps the best way to create a ‘Culture of Encounter’ that brings Christ to the world is to simply do what Pope Francis says and “waste time with your children”.

About Dr Greg Popcak

Dr Greg Popcak and his wife, Lisa, were featured speakers at the 2015 World Meeting of Families. They are the authors of 20 books including For Better…FOREVER! and Parenting with Grace. Learn more at www.CatholicCounselors.com

This is an extract from an article published on Dr Greg’s blog. Reprinted with permission. Read the whole thing here

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