The world has become a dangerous place for children. There?s terrorism at home and war abroad to worry about. And so many negative influences attack their sensibilities every day that the only way they?re going to find their way is if parents take the time to show them. Teaching kids values such as courage, and integrity, and how to rise above a sex-crazed culture that threatens their futures doesn?t just come from having serious chats ? it also comes from having wacky fun on a family road trip or from the simple act of eating together on a regular basis.
My colleagues at The Heritage Foundation have combed through massive amounts of social science research from peer-reviewed journals and found that kids whose parents spend time with them are less likely to smoke, abuse drugs, drink or engage in sex. You can peruse the research yourself for free at www.familydatabase.org. Heritage researchers have also found that the best place for men, women and children is in a loving home environment. (This research, and more, is available at no charge on www.heritage.org.)
Our instincts tell us that individuals who live in loving families that spend time together make for better individuals ? but how many of us actually live like we believe it? How many moms and dads have forgotten that what kids really want isn?t another television or more ?stuff.? What they really want ? and need ? is time with you.
The trips don?t have to be expensive or filled with endless planned activities and tours, and the meals don?t have to be fancy. They just have to be. Whether it?s taking the time for a walk in the park, a picnic, biking, or doing something a bit more unconventional like providing the perfect environment for apple-bomb wars, you?ll be instilling in your children loving memories, values and a sense of security. And, like anytime you give such blessings to others, you?ll end up feeling pretty blessed yourself.