Have you noticed the seemingly increased number of ads that feature family settings?
And not only that, but commercials online and on TV that show home scenes that are far from perfect?
It appears the concept of the “picture perfect” family is gone. That’s good, because the reality of occasional chaos and disorder is easier to relate to. However, it’s still interesting how unfiltered glimpses of family life have become more common.
September means it’s time for the perennial fall balancing act.
Homework enters the picture for kids who’ve spent the summer playing video games, using social media and watching other screen-based entertainment. Nearly half of students rely on some type of electronic gadget for homework.
Electronic devices have a place, but a bigger challenge is to include tech-free family time in busy schedules.
“Family camp” is trending this summer, but it’s not only happening in RVs.
More often this summer than in previous years, camps have designated specific weeks for families.
Some programs schedule two-week blocks, where children come for a traditional kids camp followed by a week when they are joined by their family.
Other camps simply set aside time for families. Campers create their own schedules, which allows for days together and apart, with maximum flexibility.
The family camp concept sounds like a welcome opportunity to substitute swimming for screens!
Trending among families this summer: cultural vacations.
A kid-friendly journey into a different part of the city or a family bike tour can expose a child to various cultures in a local or nearby area, for a “staycation” that offers more.
Children can sample new foods, hear and see unfamiliar languages and fast-track interactive, multi-cultural exposure.
Serving comfort food provides the background for numerous commercials airing now.
And honestly, winter weather makes this a perfect time for soup.
But to look at the ads, one might assume families across the country regularly sit down together for a meal. The real life statistic is that less than half of families do this everyday.
That’s not surprising, as our “snack culture” has reduced the time we spent sitting down at the kitchen table.
Perhaps parents will discover new ways to create quality time…
Tomorrow, very few of our dinner tables tomorrow will look like Norman Rockwell’s image of a traditional Thanksgiving.
Instead, we’ll see an All-American melting pot of cultures, values, beliefs and foods.
Although many households are now child-free, if you are blessed to be with a child tomorrow, share family history at the level that’s appropriate. That child will carry the “new normal” of your family’s definition of cultural fusion into the future.
Although a tsunami of costumes have flooded social media sites for the last several weeks, Halloween is one holiday that still happens in IRL, or in real life.
Hiding behind a hashtag isn’t as much fun as screaming through a haunted house or getting lost in a hay maze.
I look forward to seeing kids and families unplug for realtime fun and face time this weekend.