Monday, January 22, 2007

Let’s Be Conservative: Family Values III (of 3)

I forgot to reset my car mileage for the week. Next Monday's report will be two weeks combined.

This post is a continuation from Let's Be Conservative: Family Values II.

From what I remember the actual words that came through my freely acquired Focus on the Family “Bringing Up Boys” podcast were, when speaking of parents having more time with their children, “I don’t know how you’re going to do it, but if it’s important, you’ll find a way.”

What if spending more time with my The Boys had recently become more important than ever to me? What if spending more time with my The Boys had become so important that I had found a way?

Why doesn’t Dr Dobson have any suggestions for how to do it?

I do.

I do it by doing less.

I do more by doing less.

I gave up a whole bunch of driving my car. I made it inconvenient to do some things. I arranged my life in such a way that sometimes The Boys and I would have to spend up to six hours of time together in a single day just to go to a park and then dinner.

We are untethered. We are adventuring. We are working hard together to find a way to get along for six hours at a time. There is no way out. There is no car to whisk us back home to the safety and privacy of our rooms or our television sets. (Any parallels between this description of my family and descriptions of middle class mass abandonment of the city for the suburbs are perhaps not coincidental.)

I think Dr Dobson and I might have different values.

Minus is the new plus.

(…to be continued…)


peddlinshutterbug said...

I like the idea of just spending time with the kids, of having to "get along" for six hours. Good plan, you'll never regret not watching TV with the kids.... Any kind of TV. A walk in the park oollecting leaves, and looking at spiders and ants beats a Nat'l Geographics show of any kind. That is what we did, board games, camping, bike rides, actual conversation.
Now, we are a family of four adults, and we really enjoy each others' company, because we actually know how to converse with each other. Keep doing what your doing. Less is More.

mytzpyk said...

P.Shutt - You'll appreciate this. I don't remember the source but George HW was asked if having George W as president made him proud as a parent.

George HW's response was that he was proud because his kids still come home.

bikingbrady said...

MC - I have to tell you, some of my best memories from the last couple years are taking my two older kids out one at a time by the "mighty" Vermillion river and just hanging out, talking about things in their lives, trying to draw out anything they want to say. Undoubtedly...less is considerably more. As far as TV, we do watch a family movie once in awhile, but I honestly don't watch much TV with them as I try to teach them to NOT watch that much themselves. And..what do you know..they both started reading a lot more. My book order for the kids should arrive shortly as a matter of fact!

Garrett said...

You couldn't pay me enough to have another television. I have more time now than I ever thought I had. People ask how I have time to do stuff...I don't watch TV, it's that simple. It amazes me as i ride into school at 5 am how many houses have the glow of the TV already infiltrating their home. Even worse is when I'm passed by SUVs with kids watching movies in the back seat. For a long road trip maybe, but for a ride to daycare, can't you do without the stimulation...

Sorry, that was a borderline rant.

Eric A. said...

Dear Sir,
As I read your posts , you have hit a nerve with me , and you cannot be more truthful.
Kudos to you and your will .
You are doing the right thing, and raising your boys well. My soon to be ex-wife and I have had many issues over turning off the TV. I always wanted to turn it off and go out in the world. She always wanted to turn it on , and stay in the confinded privacy of the dark room with the TV in it. This is one of the many issues confronting couples these days , as well as some of suburbia. As I spend more quality time with my daughter. I find it more enjoyable to turn off the TV , and get outside. Enjoy the world.