Can I help You? - Family Education
This situation usually occurs in a family which does not have good cooperation or relationships among its members. They do not respect one another or they do not have enough opportunities to talk with one another. Each member is busy with their own business.
When I was child my mother said that the key to developing concerns about other people was to train people when they were still young, still with caring and loving parents. The best way to start, she went on to say, was to try to create as many opportunities as possible for getting together to talk and share concerns with one another. The best time for these was at meal times, she concluded.
In practice, however, it is sometimes very difficult to find good time when all the members of a family can be together. In the morning, when everybody is busy getting ready for their own work or school, it is usually very difficult to have breakfast together. It is worse when each member has different habits. One likes to stay in bed for quite a while after waking up. Another likes to stay up late at night and so usually gets up a bit late. Another likes to have breakfast a bit late because of not feeling hungry early in the morning. Still another does not like even having breakfast. If this is the case, no matter how hard we try to have breakfast together, it will not work.
For example the family In Indonesia, school for children and working parents usually go home at about one o’clock pm. Hopefully they ge home for the sometime.
However in a family without good arrangements, this does not work, either. One likes to see what film will be on that night and thus goes around downtown, checking all the movies on the way home, without letting the others know that s/he is going to be late for lunch. Another likes to have snacks in the cafetaria and so does not hungry until three o’clock in the afternoon, thus preferring to stay away from home until needing lunch.Still another likes visiting friends after school and so will not get home until too late for lunch. Mothers sometimes quite angry with their children if they do so.
Dinner time seems to be much easier for everybody in the family to arrange. The darkness of night falls right after 6 o’clock in the evening and that drives people to go home as soon as possible. In practice, however, things are not as simple as that. With electricity everywhere, night time has become an even more exciting time for people to stay away from home. Mothers still have difficulty getting everybody in the family to have dinner at the same time.
Another friend of mine told me about his personal experience in this regard. He had a discussion with all the members of his family, and they came to a consensus that everybody in the family had let the others know when s/he could not come home on time for meals. When one member is late for a meal, another member must be told and give an acceptable reason as well. If not, the other members of the family will wait and be expecting him/her to be home and eat with them, no matter how late s/he is going to be.
In this way the others will be made to suffer because of his/her ignorance. If this happens several times, there is a kind moral pressure, but also only from his/her parents but also from the brother and sister to obey the consensus decision made earlier.