I love old TV shows. There is such a wonderful feeling about them. I miss good quality shows that show healthy family life and true comedy. My favorite of all time is the Andy Griffith Show! I love this small town with his quirky, funny characters and their amazing stories. However the thing I love the most about it is the relationship between Andy and Opie. Andy is a wonderful father and although the other old shows have great dads too, this relationship is really special. I think what makes it unique is the true personal relationship between the two. Here are a few of my favorite things about this father/child relationship:
*They have great conversations - Andy talks to his son and gets down on his level when Opie is small. He connects with him by looking right into his eyes. He is not yelling across the room. He never talks down to his son or makes him feel less valuable because he is the child. He shows him respect but takes the role of solid leadership with him.
*Andy shares stories with Opie - sometimes funny, sometimes with deep meaning
*You see the father spending time with his son - They often going fishing or Opie is spending time at the jail with dad.
*They go to church - Although the show doesn't get into deep religious thoughts you often see them pray go to church on Sundays.
*Andy gives Opie responsibility and teaches him about hard work
*They eat dinner every night together at a TABLE!!
*Opie faces consequences when he is wrong -(the baby bird episode is the best example of this) Opie kills a mama bird on accident with his slingshot because he was being careless. Andy walks over to a window and pulls it open and tells Opie he needs to listen to those babies crying for its mama. It is sad but it shows his son there are real consequences for bad behavior. I am often amazed how oblivious children are today to pain around them, they almost seem immune to it in some ways. It is a great lesson because the next morning Opie decides he is going to care for the birds and then another lesson comes when Opie has to set them free. We need to show our own children practical, real life lessons in life.
I realize this is a fictional show and of course it only shows mostly good times. It is a comedy and is not highlighting the real hard trials that often come with life. But I still believe there are some amazing things about this show that can help us with our parenting!
Our kids need to know we are listening to them. They need us to fill them with wisdom and understanding and life's lessons
They need our time. I know we live in a high paced world right now but you will NEVER get time back and your kids need you. This will be a huge regret if you miss out on this. Slow down and give them time!
They need to be in church! Don't let them get jobs or play sports or anything else that will come before church. When I turned 16 and got my first job my dad had a firm rule-no working on Sundays! When they are adults they have to own their own faith and make their own decisions but while you have them, make sure it is a priority!
Eat dinner together - If you can't eat dinner together every night, make sure you do a few nights a week. (switch this to breakfast or lunch if you or your husband works nights)
Teach them responsibility- Make them do chores! There should be things they have to do just because they are a part of your family but give them extra things where they can learn to earn some money or special privileges. You want to prepare them for life. It's your job!
Have great conversations! - There is no one you want your children going to more then you and your spouse except God! Don't be afraid of deep and hard topics. They need your wisdom!
I have thought of Andy many times when I have been parenting. I love that my kids and I have real conversations and I love to share stories that help them with real life circumstances. Mayberry can teach us plenty about parenting!
Angela, Together with Family