Secret of My Success (Night Ranger)Please tell me if I’m wrong, but the more I dig into information about Gen X Parents, the more I discover that there are people our there JUST LIKE ME! No seriously . . . for so long I thought I was the only one who wanted my family to sit around the dinner table every night. The only mom who stressed about having a fun, yet spiritually uplifting, bedtime routine.
In a recent article titled: “Gen X sheds slacker image” this comment is made:
"[Gen X Parents are] willing to do what it takes to have family stability, because they didn't get it when they were young," says Ann Fishman, president of Generational Targeted Marketing. "So this is something new, the importance placed on raising your children." (You can read the whole article here.)
Ever since my children were young, I have fallen in love with that word “stability.” Seriously, it’s one of my favorites. I’ve always wanted my kids to be raise with a firm foundation based on the love of God and their parents. How have I done this?
I mentioned two of the ways already: family dinners and a bedtime routine. Even though we live busy lives, our family eats dinner together approximately five times a week. Some days (like today!) I’m really on the ball and after breakfast I get dinner going in the crockpot. Other times, when I haven’t had time to THINK about dinner, I run to the store and grab the fixings for sub sandwiches. It really doesn’t matter how complex the meal is, the best part is having us interact as a family.
Our bedtime routine is just as sacred in our home. On most nights, we gather our kids to pray and read together. The prayer time is simple. Starting with the youngest, each of us takes one or two minutes to pray for our family or any special concerns. Then my husband reads from a “Chapter Book.” (My kids still love this, even the sixteen-year-old.) The number of books we’ve gone through is in the dozens. We’ve read The Chronicles of Narnia, the Lord of the Rings series, Frank Peretti’s Cooper Kids’ Series, and too many more to name. The criteria are that John has to enjoy the books as much as the kids. (He wasn’t about to read any boring “First Readers.” No way.)
Not only do we enjoy the stories, but my kids have benefited by their active imaginations and great scores on Standardized Testing. In fact, all three of them score WAY above their grade level when it comes to reading comprehension. (Which, of course, is important to Gen Xers—providing double benefits for our efforts.)
Other things that I feel helps with family stability include:
--Serving together at church every week.
--Talking about “current events” in relation to Biblical truth (which means great mealtime discussions about things like dating, video games, television shows, etc.)
--Opening our home up to our childrens’ friends.
So what about you? What have you done to build family stability? I’d love to hear about it!