Monday, July 18, 2011

Family Blanket Time

Years ago I entered the Missionary Servants of the Blessed Trinity (MSBT) because I believed that God was calling me to be a sister and the MSBTs worked a lot with families and I wanted to do that in some way. Members of my family had really developed my faith and trust in God so I wanted to pass that on to other families. In the Trinita Family program we get to do just that and have fun in the process.
Everyday volunteers (and this week I'm a volunteer) get to meet with their family for the week in a daily hour long session called blanket time. A committee of parents and the sisters and staff of Trinita meet in the months before the summer family program and work out the theme and activities. So all we volunteers have to do is read the directions get the materials and the blanket and be ready when the bell rings. The point of this is to give the family a chance to talk to each other on a littler deeper level than usual.

Many of the families with whom I've worked don't seem to be able to fit in time as a family. Schedules today are tight what with work, after school activities, sports and commuting time.

I saw this statistic and I have to say it's scary. The number of minutes per week that parents spend in meaningful conversation with their children: is 3.5 minutes. Minutes!!! Kids spend an average of 4 hours in front of the TV. So who is having more influence?

If I could give kids one thing  I'd give them the attention of their parents and caregivers.
In my work with school children I was surprised at how willing the kids were to meet with me. I worked in a school K through 8, junior high and high school as a social worker and all ages were very willing to leave class and go talk with me.
Now sometimes it may have been getting out of class, but I believe mostly it was to have the attention of an adult. So that's always my free advice to any parent. Don't worry so much about giving your kids the material stuff, Give them your time, give them you.

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