I've often found that my parents have greatly influenced my own parenting style for good or ill. I either emulate what worked with me or do the exact opposite because it didn't. However sometimes we have to face issues which our parents didn't and then... we're on our own!
Game consoles and mobiles have created a difficulty that didn't exist on the same scale when we were growing up. And it's not just the children who are affected.
Our time is filled with instant entertainment and easy access to anything that pleases us. Shopping can be done at any time, our memory is not required to function at its fullest... you can always ask Google or Siri; no one tells or learns jokes anymore since they can be shown on one's phone. Boredom that was once the generator of creativity and unique fun is quickly filled with stupid games, silly video clips and noise is all around us.
Our concentration span is almost non-existent... How many times in the process of checking a quick message or an email we find ourselves minutes later jumping from one app to another and many times forgetting what we were supposed to be doing in the first place?
With 'the month of the Rosary' coming up we decided we needed some help to detach ourselves from all this technology that although, sometimes useful, distracts us from our goal and from each other.
Whenever a child is struggling, his or her natural reaction would always be to ask for help from the mother who will then always bring it to the father.
Saying the Rosary together most nights has been a beautiful way to spend time together after dinner praying for friends and family.
For the whole month, we also decided to stop watching TV.
After the first week Lucia suggested we should get rid of the TV altogether as she realised she could fill her time with much more interesting things than staring at a screen. Mattia asked her kindly not to put such ideas into our heads.... as that would mean no Xbox ever again! =)
A veil has been placed on the TV to remind everyone of the decision we have taken as a family!
Every evening the coffee table in our sitting room is prepared for the rosary by a different family member. A little introduction is given by the child explaining the choice of the objects on the table.
Finding our bearded dragon on the first night was not what I was expecting, but when Ettore explained why it had been placed there it made perfect sense and it was lovely for this curious lizard to go around the room while we were all praying.
When It was Virginia's turn, the girls used the edible Rosary they had all made the previous day on the occasion of the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary... after the 3rd decade Virginia had already eaten the whole Rosary!
Again for the entire month, phones are to stay in a special basket in the kitchen when we are at home. They can be checked as many times as we want or need but cannot leave the kitchen and especially cannot be brought upstairs ... This has been the trickiest rule to keep and we constantly need to admonish each other.
We are in this journey of faith together as a family and to be able to walk together towards the Father's house is a gift and the path not always straight nor easy. The moments of grace are to be treasured and give us hope and strength when the storm is fierce.
Our Lady of the Rosary pray for us.
Salve, Regina, mater misericordiae;
vita, dulcedo et spes nostra, salve.
Ad te clamamus exsules filii Hevae.
Ad te suspiramus gementes et flentes
in hac lacrimarum valle.
Eia ergo, advocata nostra,
illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte.
Et Iesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui,
nobis post hoc exsilium ostende.
O clemens, o pia, o dulcis Virgo Maria