Since this is a blog about life, I thought I would write about a topic that’s really been on my mind recently. And this is no where near all-inclusive. I’m just hitting on a few of the points. For a more comprehensive list, I encourage your own research.
All families face challenges of every kind every day. It’s not a question of whether challenges are going to arise or not. It’s going to occur daily, hourly, and possibly on a minute-by-minute basis. Balancing on this tight rope while maintaining some stability in the home is a challenge that all families face. The following are some examples, certainly not all, of things families deal with when attempting to cultivate a healthy family life.
WORK AND/OR SCHOOL BALANCE
Whether you’re in school, have a job, or both, you have to harmonize that with family life. Having a job is one thing. Inserting school, even part time, into your home life adds a certain amount of stress to everyone’s daily life. If you also have children in your household, you’ve got a real task on your hands. Let’s do the math. Assume your job takes about 45 hours a week and that you live about 30 minutes from your workplace. That’s about 50 hours per week. If you’re also going to school part time two nights per week, including commuting, studying, and reading when you’re not in class, that’s another 20 hours of the week (minimum). Then if you sleep about seven hours per night (because we know you’re probably not getting eight hours with everything you’ve got going on), that’s an additional 50 hours. All of that comes to a total of about 120 hours per week. There are only 168 hours available in a week’s time. That leaves about 48 hours per week for everything else. That includes everything on this list, which is not conclusive, plus all the other things that occur during the week. Some of these other things may include things like sporting events, school meetings or happenings, church, homework, cooking, cleaning, clothes (washing, drying, folding, hanging, ironing), dishes, garbage, playing taxi driver for the kids,, grocery shopping, bills, etc, etc. The list of things that take up time seems to never end. So you survive one day only to get up the next day and do it all again.
There are so many philosophies out there about how to properly discipline a child. No matter what type of discipline you deem appropriate for your child, the point of the whole thing is that we all just want to do our best in order to prevent our children from being career criminals or drug lords. More practically, we want to be able to use discipline to encourage them to do their homework and make good grades in school. If you’re a parent, issues like these always come up. And when they do, it’s our responsibility as parents to ensure that things happen as they should. The challenge that we all face with trying discipline our children is figuring out the correct formula for being firm without being too abrasive. We don’t want our children to tune us out completely, because we know it’s in their best interest to listen to us and adhere to our instruction. While it’s our duty to put our proverbial foot down, we certainly don’t want our children to shut down altogether. This can be somewhat tricky.
ECONOMIC AND MONEY
We all know it takes money, and sometimes a lot of it, to run a household. In addition to the monthly bills that have to be paid, there are always unexpected things that arise each month that require money-the car needs repairing or a printer needs replacing or something else. Then, what if you get behind on paying a bill because you had to allocate some of that money to one of these unexpected but immediate needs? Now you’ve got the added stress of bill collectors calling for their money. On top of this, you’ve got little Johnny asking for money to go on a field trip on Friday. There are countless other money issues like gas, clothes, food, etc. that surface daily, weekly, monthly. I won’t even mention what might happen if a job is lost. That’s a whole different article in itself.
TECHNOLOGY AND SCREEN TIME
Smartphones, tablets, computers, televisions, gaming devices, more. It’s not news that people, especially our children, are spending more time looking at a screen of some sort. If you know the name of every member of The Paw Patrol, you’re not a bad parent nor are you alone. But there are differing theories on how much screen time is appropriate for our children. The American Academy of Pediatrics’ guidelines suggest screen time limits for each age group in order to protect children. However, its counterpart in the UK suggests something a bit different, which might come as a relief to parents. The Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) in the UK recently released its guidance on screen time and found it was “impossible to recommend age-appropriate time limits” because “there is not enough evidence to confirm that screen time is in itself harmful to child health at any age.” Whatever approach you buy in to, we can all agree that this is a very concerning issue for those in parenting circles.
There are so many more issues that we could discuss within the context of this article. I just picked a few to highlight. Some of the issues that I would point out in addition might include communication and interaction among family members, the impact that it has on our kids when a quarter of them grow up without fathers in their lives, divorce, blended families, so many more.