Many parents consider themselves satisfied if they succeed in shielding their children from the horrible influences outside the home. They also need to consider the bad influences and distractions that appear inside the bosom of the family home. Parents should give great attention to developing those warm relationships inside an atmosphere of intense affection.
Modern life tends to conspire against these relationships. All too often, families live in the same house but fail to communicate. Family members bring inside the home, the frenetic pace, agitation and busy schedules that rule their lives outside the home.
“Frequently, in the family’s fragmentation,” writes Dr. Peter Whybrow, “members retreat to their own interests — playing video games, watching television, writing e-mails, working on the computer, talking on the telephone — such that the house is no longer a home but a way station to another world.” (Peter C. Whybrow, American Mania: When More is Not Enough, W. W. Norton, New York, 2005, p. 242).
Gone are the meals that should be eaten together. Spontaneous family activities like conversing, singing or entertaining are edged out by pursuits without any interaction. All the while, many parents live with the illusion that these shortcomings can be overcome by sharing “quality time” with their children. Such intervals often have neither quality nor time since everyone is caught up in their own heavy schedules.
Any return to order must have as a basis a return to family life. This must include the physical living together of father, mother and family members – already considered a great accomplishment in these days of divorce and single parenthood. However, it must especially consist of that spontaneous and natural interaction that unites all members in joy and sorrow and makes of the family an irreplaceable social unit for the survival of society.