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Marriage and Family

Changing the World

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09/01/2010 - With the changing seasons comes a changing lifestyle. Soon we will be entering the fall, and already we are starting to see the indicators. Kids are already going back to school, the weather is showing signs of change and schedules are getting more hectic. Of all these signs, my favorite is the beginning of football season. I love the storylines that arise through training camps and the preseason. Then I look forward with anticipation at what surprises may come up, who will prove to be upcoming stars and which stars show the signs of fading. Then there is fantasy football! Now, all the games become even more interesting, not just the one my favorite team is playing. I find myself getting more and more excited even as I write this.

Hopefully you are able to look at this coming school year with the same sort of anticipation. Though, the attitude may be one of apprehension. The fun of summer is over and what lies in wait are battles with getting your kids to do their homework or listening to the teenage drama from your junior high or high school students. If this is you, I want to thank you for your involvement in your kids' lives. All too often, school can be viewed as the next babysitter who will keep the kids occupied and disciplined. This attitude puts teachers and administrators in a tough position because they cannot be responsible for your kids' futures. They can teach, but it's the parents who raise.

I hear many kids in my office tell me they desire to spend more time with their parents. They crave your involvement. Parents who are actively involved with their kids are telling them that they matter and are loved. When involvement is limited, kids are given the opposite message, that they are not as important or are possibly even a nuisance. I have watched kids' attitudes, demeanors and even behaviors drastically change when previously uninvolved parents make a concerted effort to become present. Surprisingly, I have even had teenagers tell me that they are embarrassed by their parents and don't want to be seen in public with them, and still state that they wish their parents would do more with them.

It is my feeling that if families all showed the same devotion and attention that we do to our favorite sports teams, then our community will drastically improve. We have many "social ills" that plague our community such as drugs, alcohol, abuse and various crimes. Many of us even become passionate about specific issues in our world. As big as these problems are, solutions begin at home.

So take some time and help your kids with their homework. Go outside and throw the ball around. Then when the snow falls; go sledding. Read together, eat together and pray together. A strong focus on each child can be the catalyst for a stronger world.

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