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Marriage and Family

Best Friends

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07/01/2009 - For the last month, my thoughts seemed to be near obsessive on the topic of parents and their relationships with their children. It seems as if this is one skill many of today's parents are overlooking. I say "skill" because as in any relationship, it take's work. Also, the relationship will look different depending on the age group into which your children fall. As they develop, their interests and attitudes will also develop and change and this requires the parent to also be flexible enough to develop with them.

Our modern era, and the technology that comes with it, provides some challenges in the arena of relationship building with children. Electronics and media provide a stiff competition for kids' attention. Video games, T.V., and movies can consume hours of a child's time and cell phones, texting, internet and instant messaging seem to be the avenue through which kids learn to build relationships. With exception to some of the content coming through these venues, none of these things are necessarily wrong. The problem comes to be in the amount of time vested in these technologies and the priority they take over face-to-face interaction.

Sports have always been important in my life. I grew up playing a variety of sports, watching them on television with my dad and, even today, they have chewed up much of my time. Thus, ESPN is a network that is frequently found lighting up our living room. I bring this up because a commercial is being run on ESPN which I love. It starts off as if you are watching Sportscenter, ESPN's very popular sports news program. The sportscasters are acting as if they are giving analysis of some major league plays then a clip is shown of a father playing a backyard game with his children. When a child has quality time with their parents, it means more to them than just a fun time. A child learns that they are valuable and worth the parent's time. Through consistency, the child gains many more values which can take pages to list. When a parent makes mistakes, the relationship can compensate. The next few issues will focus in on a few of the many aspects of developing a parent-child relationship. Until then, go have fun with your kids.

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