Role Reversal: child encourages family bonding


#1

I'm 18 years old and have had a strong conviction that my family life isn't adequate. Not that our family suffers from any sort of abuse or outside pressure, but simply because I've felt dissatisfied that in this American culture we favor the family as a group of individuals who work under their own schedules whether it be jetting off to work for long hours, going off to school, spending time with other friends, not spending meals together, and generally not having the family be together as one unit. We're almost all like individual people with our own agendas and schedules rather than a loving community. Now I'm fed up with it, and after thinking about the family and reading things on the topic, like those by GK Chesterton, I've already tried to start to change our daily rhythm so that it fosters more togetherness. I've already talked about some of this to my parents, but I don't think they fully understand the full gravity of what I want us to be. And I essentially need to inform my parents how to raise a family right as well as imparting to them the passion and reverence I have for the family as perhaps one of the most Christian institutions God has given us. We're already trying to start a family devotion together, us as a family of 5. But I'd like more ideas on activities that could bring us together in general? Eventually, I'd also like to convince my parents that our two 6th graders that are apart of our family should be homeschooled, so I'd like some ideas on how to convince my parents to take on such a daunting task?

I'll be leaving for college in a few weeks, so I'd like to take advantage of the time I have left here, and establish some sort of rhythm and togetherness that our family can benefit in years from now. I'm fully convinced that my parents will never experience the true fullness of love as parents anywhere else, but in the family truely committed to each other. And my siblings will never find a place more free or invigorating than what can be found in a committed family, especially as compared to what can be found in a public school.


#2

i would be so angry if my child tried to explain how things should be to me.
they might have reasons for how they do things…rote knowledge is so very different than real life experiences.


#3

Lol, didn't realize how that sounded when I wrote it. I'm sorry. I guess it does kind of stem from the fact that I don't really see things from parents perspective. Point taken. But nevertheless, I'd still very much like to improve the way we come together as a family. I suppose wording it as how to 'teach my parents how to raise a family' is wrong of me. And I suppose that puts me in the rather awkward position of sounding like the prodigal son in all his arrogance and pride, but instead of forsaking his family, I've stayed with them. I simply mean most that I'd like our family to become more of a family, a joint effort and improvement for and by everyone.

Sadly, I can't edit my first post anymore to change the name.


#4

[quote="Koolerkev, post:1, topic:207133"]
I'm 18 years old and have had a strong conviction that my family life isn't adequate. Not that our family suffers from any sort of abuse or outside pressure, but simply because I've felt dissatisfied that in this American culture we favor the family as a group of individuals who work under their own schedules whether it be jetting off to work for long hours, going off to school, spending time with other friends, not spending meals together, and generally not having the family be together as one unit. We're almost all like individual people with our own agendas and schedules rather than a loving community. Now I'm fed up with it, and after thinking about the family and reading things on the topic, like those by GK Chesterton, I've already tried to start to change our daily rhythm so that it fosters more togetherness. I've already talked about some of this to my parents, but I don't think they fully understand the full gravity of what I want us to be. And I essentially need to inform my parents how to raise a family right as well as imparting to them the passion and reverence I have for the family as perhaps one of the most Christian institutions God has given us. We're already trying to start a family devotion together, us as a family of 5. But I'd like more ideas on activities that could bring us together in general? Eventually, I'd also like to convince my parents that our two 6th graders that are apart of our family should be homeschooled, so I'd like some ideas on how to convince my parents to take on such a daunting task?

I'll be leaving for college in a few weeks, so I'd like to take advantage of the time I have left here, and establish some sort of rhythm and togetherness that our family can benefit in years from now. I'm fully convinced that my parents will never experience the true fullness of love as parents anywhere else, but in the family truely committed to each other. And my siblings will never find a place more free or invigorating than what can be found in a committed family, especially as compared to what can be found in a public school.

[/quote]

You're 18, you're leaving for college..... and you think the two remaining 6th graders should be homeschooled.... but of course you're not going to be there to help because you too have your own agenda and schedule to meet....
as mom and dad endeavor to work to pay the bills to support you.

You're all grown up here, but you still feel the need to instruct your parents on their duty to be what you need them to be, especially their duty to be what you need them to be while you are no longer around..

Terrific.
Anything else you'd like?


#5

[quote="Koolerkev, post:3, topic:207133"]
But nevertheless, I'd still very much like to improve the way we come together as a family. I suppose wording it as how to 'teach my parents how to raise a family' is wrong of me. And I suppose that puts me in the rather awkward position of sounding like the prodigal son in all his arrogance and pride, but instead of forsaking his family, I've stayed with them. I simply mean most that I'd like our family to become more of a family, a joint effort and improvement for and by everyone.

[/quote]

If you want to come together as a family, you get your sorry 18 year old rear into the kitchen and start cooking for everybody and teach the 6th graders to cook instead of sitting on your sorry rear at the computer complaining to the world about how fed up you are with the inadequacies of your parents.


#6

:thumbsup: :thumbsup:

we cant be too harsh...i know when i was a teenager, i knew everything, my mom was totally wrong and the world was going to swing its doors open wide for my incredible insight.
:p :D


#7

[quote="MotherofMany, post:6, topic:207133"]
:thumbsup: :thumbsup:

we cant be too harsh...i know when i was a teenager, i knew everything, my mom was totally wrong and the world was going to swing its doors open wide for my incredible insight.
:p :D

[/quote]

Well, maybe, although the OP's post didn't really sound all that harsh to me. I think it's good that he (she?) is thinking about family dynamics. It would be presumptuous for an 18 yr old to try to instruct his parents on child rearing and family dynamics, though, especially when getting ready to go off to college. But the ideas have merit. Kids can influence parents by good example, and vice-versa.


#8

I think we're being awfully hard on the OP, nothing he/she suggested was bad. As far as homeschooling goes -(I am a former homeschooling mom) your parents really have to be called to that. You could of course discuss the benefits of homeschooling to them if that's something they've never seriously considered.

Since you are leaving for college that won't be much you can do to help improve the dynamics of your family life. Since you have younger siblings at home maybe talk with them about what group family activities they would like to see in your family and then discuss that with your parents before you leave. When you're home visiting from college you could of course carve our special family time -giving them enough notice to adjust their schedules.


#9

[quote="rayne89, post:8, topic:207133"]
I think we're being awfully hard on the OP, nothing he/she suggested was bad.

[/quote]

He/she was suggesting that his/her parents need to shape up because he/she is fed up with them not doing what he/she feels they should be doing...

But just what has he/she himself/herself been doing for all these years? Pitching in and helping out like a family? Cooking for the family and teaching the siblings to cook? Doing housework and yard work so that parents have such a thing as family time? Tutoring the younger siblings with their schoolwork? Building a treehouse or a garden in the backyard for the younger siblings to learn from and play in by day that doubles as a romantic evening get away for the parents while he/she babysits the younger siblings with a board game? Setting up a video link with the computer so that he/she can visit with the family from college long distance and offer wise advice and homework help to younger siblings struggling through junior high?

By the time a child is in high school, when work needs to be done around the house and kids need to be cared for around the house, and even get togethers and celebrations need to be organized and held around the house, it's not a matter of being fed up with anybody else not doing it to one's satisfaction, it's clearly a matter of doing it oneself.
There are high schoolers around here who supervise, tutor, and help raise their siblings after school or hold part time jobs that help pay the family's rent for gosh sakes!
An 18 year old is not a child. An 18 year old is legally an adult.

As for homeschooling....
Mom was busy cooking and running the household, Dad was busy working 12 hours a day.....they were both exhausted by the end of the day...
and I was teaching the younger kids to read all by myself....
when I was 8.
That's family.
Family means that when you see something that needs doing, you don't act all fed up with anybody else not doing it. Family means that when you see something that needs doing, you do it yourself. Even if you're 8 years old. That's family.


#10

[quote="former_Catholic, post:9, topic:207133"]
That's family.

[/quote]

Thank you for explaining what family is to me since I obviously have no experience in this area. :rolleyes:


#11

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