Juggling Your Family Time
by Carl Caton
I don't watch TV. And I love the time I have because of it. I have reclaimed those wasted hours of my life and invested them in my family. Instead of reruns, we play basketball. And we wrestle, play catch, dream up goofy skits, play cards, plan camping trips, make homemade movies... you get the idea.
Lately though, my kids have been gravitating back to the tube. It's just so easy. It takes no energy or thought. Although I've made a few comments about this, I don't want to nag them. I want them to WANT TO do something better. And so I've adopted a new strategy for teaching this lesson. When everyone plops down in front of the TV, I tell them I'm going to learn something new in the next thirty minutes. They watch the sit-com and I learning something fun to do. And when the thirty minutes is up, I demonstrate my new ability while they consider what value they just derived of their time.
It was a flop! At first, nothing I learned seemed worthwhile to them. I knew I needed to make this more interesting. I remembered that I always wanted to be able to juggle. So the next night, I found an internet site that teaches the basics of juggling in thirty minutes. I hardly had time to learn the basics before my son became intrigued with the
concept. And in thirty minutes, he proudly demonstrated his new ability to the family! Since then, he has ramped up his juggling skill. We keep the juggling balls in the family room and he picks them up whenever he has a minute or two with nothing to do. Now he can juggle with one hand and toss balls behind his back. He has a great
new skill that he's very proud of.
Now, don't think that I'm anti-TV. I don't dislike TV as much as I think there are lots of things that are so much more fun. I find it interesting that everyone talks about "being so busy" or "not having the time" and yet they spend hundreds if not thousands of hours wasting away in front of the TV. Consider this quote by Dale and Karen Mason,
“While TV may be one of the least costly forms of entertainment in monetary terms, it is one of the most costly entertainment choices in terms of opportunities lost." Opportunities lost: laughs, giggles, tickling, adventure... just the deep, meaningful pleasure of simple family fun. Tragic.
You may be saying to yourself, "I just don't have the energy" or
"my job is so stressful that I don't have anything left at the end of the day." I understand but let me share my experience with you. In the evening, I'm worn out. I feel tired and I don't really want to play basketball with my son. But once I drag my limp body out on the driveway and we fire things up... I'm pumped. I come back in the house totally
rejuvenated! I've got my second wind. Try it for a week and see if it works for you!
So, what is it that you've always wanted to do but never seem to find the time? What are your dreams? What is God calling you to do? Here's a list of things you could do in thirty minutes or less!
Plan a date night for your spouse
Think about a grand family adventure (like hiking the Appalachian
Learn to juggle
Learn about IceSticker.com (it may save your life)
Learn about a great father/son or father/daughter retreat at Christ in the
Tetons or JH Ranch
Learn five words in a foreign language
Learn a special bible verse
Learn a simple card game like hearts,
rummy or with dominoes: 42
Play capture the flag in the backyard (this is so! fun)
Read the U.S. Constitution.
Learn how a rainstorm happens.
Order travel brochures on a city or
destination you've always wanted to visit.
Call someone you haven't talked to in
Read the book of Ruth in the bible.
Take some pictures of your family.
Take a walk around the block.
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