Tell the Children

If you find yourself tongue-tied when your children ask you why they can’t have more screen time, or similar scenarios, these scripts or mini-posts may help you.  They are prompts that may reveal to you your own heartfelt beliefs about how you want technology used in your home. Consider them as options to replace “Because I said so!”
These scripts may offer God’s truth packaged for a child. They may offer relevant science that can educate your child while also training him what’s important to you. They may be a short, instructive story that can spur your own insights.
However you choose to use them, you may gain piece of mind because you have helped them understand a ‘why’ behind your directive. You help them gain self-awareness about their technology use.  And self-awareness will be valuable to them as they mature with various forms of technology in their world.
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The God of Our Keyboard

Because technology is built to serve us--and is pervasive--it is easy to unconsciously transfer that expectation of "serve me" to our relationship with God. Adam Thomas in Digital Disciple (p. 87) referenced this concept and kindled my thoughts about how this may affect a child's world. A child familiar with technology may begin to believe God serves us like technology serves us. As if CTRL ALT ↑ is enough to send to the ether a message about what we want and when, so that God can respond. But God is not a button on our keyboard. If you didn't grow up fingering buttons and swiping screens you ma...
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Remembering God during Technology Time

  Occasionally as your child is warming up his game console or computer, pleasantly remind him to remember God, using your own version of this real exchange: Video games are fun, but what is most important of all? According to Matthew 22:37 it is Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. (NIV)  [Hopefully your child will join in the recitation of the verse. Mine joined in with his Hands On Bible version (NLT, Tyndale).] Today while you are playing, I want you to think about a way you can show the Lord you love Him. Playing video games is fun, b...
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Saturday with Kids and Their Technology

Saturday may not be a school day, but there is still much to be learned. Saturdays may be mayhem around the Wii or Xbox in your house. Learning to live Saturdays well by starting with a productive routine can be a path to unexpected fun and family progress. So on Friday night, prepare your brood for a new kind of Saturday. "I know tomorrow is Saturday and you are looking forward to being on your Xbox; however, I want you to first finish your morning routine (brush your teeth and make your bed, etc.) and then help me in the kitchen (cut strawberries, make pancake batter, etc.)  before you ...
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Talk, Not Tablet

Emma, the second grader I was babysitting, took out her Android Tablet filled with games as soon as we sat down together at a casual breakfast restaurant one Saturday.  Our conversation went something like this: Oh, Emma, you won’t be needing that. I will enjoy talking with you over breakfast this morning.  (Emma, with some uncertainty, turns the screen off and puts it away. She appears to look as if she thinks she’s in trouble.) But please tell me about your favorite game you play on that.  (She is slightly now more at ease since the conversation still centers around her machine, and she pr...
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All 5 Senses

How many of your five senses do you use when you play a video game? Did you guess two?  That's right, you use fewer than half your senses when you play a videogame (40%, or 2/5).  You see the game and you hear the game.  What about your sense of taste, touch and smell? They are valuable too! Doing other things around the house everyday will make life more interesting by using all your senses. Taste what your sister has cooked (if she'll let you!), touch the flowers in our garden, smell the rosemary bush in the yard. You may happen to notice other interesting things when you do. Use 100% ...