How can you maximize the time your family spends together and maximize the transfer of values from one generation to another?
I got thinking about this when my sister mentioned that her family was bringing her in-laws (both in their 90s, and not necessarily the easiest people to get along with!) into their home for several weeks. How could that time be made as pleasant and profitable as possible?
One of the things we do in our family–even now, after the kids are grown and three of the four are married, and we have five grandkids: We read out loud together. We don’t watch TV. Every once in a while we will watch a movie. But for maximum mutual engagement, besides just plain talking with one another, we will read a book together out loud.
Sarita always suggests three or four books we might read when we’re headed off for vacation. The rest of us, then, together, make the final selection.
[I should note: Sarita has an uncanny ability to choose "the best of the best" when it comes to books. But, then, I guess, she ought to! After all, she reads over a dozen books a week, and she has been doing that for some 40 years or more.]
The books themselves, of course, offer tremendous value on their own. But they also offer another value: they inspire us to interact. We always seem to want to talk about what we’re reading.
Let me illustrate. Read the rest of this entry »