I had an epiphany these last few weeks. A fairly life-changing one. I was sitting at a restaurant in Cape Town, watching people come and go. At first I was missing my own family as I saw others arrive, but then something got my attention…
Families don’t sit together for prolonged periods.
Have you ever noticed this? The children go a play on jungle gyms or whatever apparatus is available, and the adults sit at the table. There’s a brief period when the food arrives that they’re all near each other, but the rest of the time it’s everyone doing different things in different directions. They’re in the same space, but they’re not together.
“What’s the problem with that?” you ask. “That’s why families go to certain restaurants, so that the kids can play and the parents can chat and have a break. Everyone’s happy.”
Maybe. But I’m not convinced that this is always the case. You can hear it beneath the surface when parents make comments like, “I can’t believe she’s 10 years old already! Time flies!” or “It was just yesterday that I was changing nappies! Where has the time gone?”
Which begs the question: what is it that families can actually do together? How do we cross the threshold of age difference, taste preference and physical factors?
Well, we tried something…
I’ve been working on a formula for a live show, for years actually, to entertain whole families.
The concept is a whole theatre show in your home. The message and the music is fun and poignant, and it’s something awesome parents and children can do together (drop me an email if you want to find out more).
I really believe we need to be encouraging each other in the area of quality family time, sharing ideas and understanding and appreciating each other’s differences. I’m convinced that the more we can work out and through this kind of thing in our homes, the world will become a better place.