I saw a disturbing commercial today while watching one of the NFL playoff games. It’s not the first time I’ve seen a disturbing commercial while watching Sunday football, but something I had seen earlier in the day made me take a step back.
We missed the service at church this morning because my oldest was sick. So instead of our normal Sunday morning routine, my oldest and I did the spiritual thing and watched one of the Narnia movies while my husband and youngest headed off to Sunday worship.
During the preview on this DVD, there was a “commercial” promoting a service where you can download movies on your various devices because now you can take your movies where ever you go. As you watch the commercial, they show you flashes of different places you can watch movies: in the park (instead of running, playing, and enjoying nature), at work (uh? Instead of diligently working?), at a restaurant (instead of eating and enjoying time with family and friends), etc.
Therefore, this afternoon, when I saw a Verizon Commercial titled “Football/Life Balance” that showed how you can live your life and still watch football I was disturbed. The commercial opens with a couple not watching football and enjoying some delectable finger foods. The next shot is of a man in a basement doing nothing but watching a football game. The final scene of the advertisement is of the original couple at an extravagant outdoor party (I assumed a birthday party) that they are throwing for their children while they simultaneously watch a football game on their phone. They have now achieved “football/life balance”.
Are they kidding me? Throwing an overpriced, highly elaborate party for my children and then not interacting with them so that I can watch my precious football game on a two-by-five-inch screen is exactly what is wrong with the American family. It’s not the only thing that is wrong with our families; but, wow, this should be an eye opening example of how we think these days. If you want to watch football, then round up your kids; prepare some great snacks; hand everyone some pom-poms; and watch the game together. Cheer as loudly as you want; talk about what a great play that was; boo the bad plays together; high five every great play; yell at the TV even. Just do it together. Enjoy the game together…TOGETHER.
But for the health of our families let’s stop throwing money, over the top entertainment, and fleeting materialistic gadgets at our children as a way to get them out of our hair so that we can do what we want and prove what great parents we are by giving our kids whatever they want. Let’s start spending time with them: play games with them, read to them, communicate with them and enjoy their company instead.
Trust me. Your children rather have time with you than the THINGS you give them. If you ask my kids, “What is the one thing you want more than anything?” they will consistently answer, “More time with Papa.” Don’t get me wrong, no one loves a good movie, a good television series or a great sports event more than I do. I just remember that these THINGS need to take their proper place in my life. If we’ll do that, our families will be stronger for it.