Thursday, August 4, 2011

Are Your Children Contributors or Spectators?

It has long been a concern of mine that children spend too much time being
engrossed in the activities of others and THINGS that seem to offer little to no
developmentof any kind.

When our children were small, we were of the same type of mindset. We bought our son
a Nintendo Game. It didn't last for long. We tried too hard to keep them entertained and
bought them too many things instead of allowing them to be creative.

I am wondering if this may be more typical of offspring of the baby boomers.
I am not one to stereotype, but I have seen a trend in the parents of my generation to
be present but not there. Growing up, our family was an example of one holding hands
but facing outward. We were there together, but each one did his own thing.

In a culture where there is so much emphasis on entertainment, it gets increasingly
difficult to raise our children to be people of passion and productivity. To be disciplined
and purposeful in choosing pursuits and ordering time is an accomplishment that is
none too easily attained.

The more I ponder this, I begin to understand that being a spectator centers
primarily on one person. Any given individual can partake of the offered event or
activity without really ever having to interact with anyone. It requires no team sacrifice or anything from them at all.

The pull of the television, video games and the cell phone are real distractions that even
adults face and often fail to keep in perspective.

Children are at risk and may likely not have a fair opportunity to learn and succeed free
from these invasive technological devices especially if their parents don't view these as
sources to be monitored VERY carefully. I am not against these items if they are used in
in the manner of serving us ( if this is possible) and not controlling us.

What would happen if we gave our children every opportunity to know themselves
and to discover the gifts that God has given them? What kind of beauty would grow
from the rich experience of quiet observation and uninterrupted creativity. The
possibilities are limitless. This lifestyle is very conducive to learning.

Life comes at us in such a rush and the time that we have every day disappears very
quickly without gain if we are not proactive in applying that time to something that is
lasting and noble.

We can ask ourselves a few questions: 1) What will benefit our children? 2)  How can we
invest in our children's time in a way that God will be honored and others will be
blessed? 3) How can we as parents, be supportive in helping our children grow toward
developing to their full potential in these areas.

In desiring to establish this kind of lifestyle here are some ways to get started.

First of all, if your family is entertainment oriented, making a sudden change could
be very difficult. When God brings us to a place of change, He is patient and sensitive.
He isn't demanding but gentle and compassionate. (When God speaks to my heart about
changes that need to be made, I tend to charge ahead leaving hearts behind. I have had to
learn to apply love first, and then the changes.) get started:

* I like to start with prayer for direction

* Try to get in touch with the hearts and dreams of your children as well as being
    aware of their gifts and talents.

* Having resources available is VERY important (This can get expensive but
   I have found thrift stores and yard sales to be wonderful sources of needed
   materials. Praying helps also. I have been so blessed by God's provision.)

* Be attentive and focused on their projects

* Children also learn by example..if my children see me working on a project
   instead of watching a movie, that helps to encourage and inspire them

My girls enjoy a lot of activities and working on many skills.
I thought you might enjoy seeing some of their projects and past times.

Baking scones for the tea party.
Helping Dad mix concrete for the corner posts of the goat pen.
Learning about our new Australorp chickens.
Practicing guitar.
They did a lot of the decorating work for this tea party.
Playing music for the tea party.
Working on sewing skills.
 Sharing music at a nursing home.
Finishing her pillow

In a recent sermon we heard, the Pastor spoke of occupying and using our talents
for God. He said if there are books to be written, we as Christians should be writing
them. If there are buildings to be built, we should be building them..songs to be written
and sung..etc.

We allow our children to grow in their gifts and encourage and support them in
their talents. Their gifts, talents and skills are not just for their enjoyment.
Nor are they to be hidden but shared to enrich he lives of others.

If we model this kind of love others, they will be much more likely to
give of themselves in this way. 



Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking the time to write this...sooo good!

Jeff and Tamara said...

You are welcome. It's a blessing to know that it was helpful.


Miss ALK said...

Hello Mr. and Mrs. LeFevre!

This was a very encouraging post! I have been reading Mikailah's blog for a few months now, and I have had the blessing of being able to "chat" with her on gmail a few times! :)

My blog is:

Miss ALK