It Doesn’t Just Have to be Entertainment

3119433406 5d2daf6222 - It Doesn't Just Have to be Entertainment

Turn Entertainment into Enrichment with God in Mind

Have you ever considered directing your child’s entertainment into an enrichment experience that naturally leads to talk of God?

“Today I earned the RCXD on Arms Race!”

“I enchanted my Diamond Chestplate to Bane of Arthropods!”

Admittedly, these exclamations from your child sound like undecipherable mumbo-jumbo. But consider listening when your child tells you about his last videogame session. Don’t shut down this byway of communication.  After all, his eager description is the seed by which you can mold his experience of solo entertainment into enrichment—and a pathway to contemplate God.

Turn entertainment into enrichment that leads to God.

For example, say your child just played (for the 100th time) Call of Duty II like so many preteens do. Enrichment may look like having a WWII documentary queued up that evening. Alternatively, you could initiate a dinner conversation about the war in which a family member served. Continue reading

Add a Biblical Insight: Turn a Child’s Anecdote into a Deeper Exchange to Encourage Biblical Thinking

Parent Encouraging Biblical Thinking at the Grand Canyon 300x400 - Add a Biblical Insight: Turn a Child’s Anecdote into a Deeper Exchange to Encourage Biblical ThinkingAdd a biblical insight to conversations with your child as they share their online experiences.

For today learn one thing that happened in your child’s online universe. Ask “So what happened today when you were online with your friends/at school?” or “What interesting/funny thing happened when you were playing Animal Crossing with your brother?”

If your talkative child shares an anecdote, ask some version of “What did you think about that?” to go deeper. To your reticent child, “Can you tell me a little more about that?” may encourage them to open up more.  If they know you will really listen to their answer, they are more likely to give you a real anecdote.

Thank them simply for sharing and then offer a relevant insight or explanation to encourage deeper processing of their experience.

Later that evening, how can you revisit that conversation to encourage biblical thinking?  Can you offer a biblically-related insight tomorrow?  If one does not come to mind, plan to spend 15 minutes of your free time—maybe when you’d normally check Facebook—to find one. Start by looking up a relevant word in the concordance at the back of your Bible or using an online search engine.

For example, perhaps your younger child saw his first fighting game on Roblox, or your Continue reading

Pressing the Reward Button for Positive Feedback: Part 2

In a similarly named post, I mentioned the repetitive, intangible rewards children “earn” through playing video games.  Their desire for positive feedback and rewards becomes incited to the point of obsession. What if, instead, they became more interested in gaining positive feedback from following God and engaging with the people God made for that purpose?

It is not too early to nudge your child toward pleasing God through loving and serving people and not toward serving a virtual technological scorekeeper. After all, Ephesians 5:30 reminds us that “we are members of his body.”  We will want to train our children to act like it.

Offering Positive Feedback Examples of the Human Variety

Think about the amount of time in a week your child interacts with technology versus with Continue reading