The troops were restless. After multiple rainy days and a few hours of watching videos, the girls were physically and mentally lethargic. Ideas for non-screen activity were met with groans of boredom.
I have to admit that most of the fault lay at my feet. Busy with various projects, I had needed time to myself, and the DVD player had come to the rescue. Now I was paying the price.
Before my tired-mama eyes, my girls had morphed into discontented couch potatoes.
An occasional video or movie can be a fun family activity, but endless days of mind-numbing screen time can dull our children’s senses. A desire to think, explore, and learn can be subdued under the glitter of instant gratification.
As Christians, we want more for our offspring. We long for each unique soul to nurture an appetite and a fascination for God and the world He created. Thankfully, our Creator provides endless opportunities to stretch inquisitive and imaginative minds of all ages.
Here are simple ways to create a hunger for more in our children:
- Encourage times of extended discussion on any subject that intrigues them. Even though it’s tempting to provide all the answers, challenge children to think and conclude for themselves. Make an old-fashioned trip to the local library (most have curbside pickup these days!) and explore their interests in detail. Is there someone at your church willing to be interviewed? For example, are there military personnel open to sharing about military life with your aspiring young soldier? What about gifted photographers, quilters, craftsmen, etc., who would be willing to engage with your eager learner?
- Keep a supply of craft materials on hand—and not just “official” items like scissors, glue, and construction paper. Find a place to store empty containers, wrapping-paper rolls, scrap wood, boxes, and more. Large rolls of masking and duct tape are non-negotiable. Many great inventors began in their own garages! Is there a budding writer in your household? Provide or help your child make a special journal to record thoughts and findings.
- Point to the Source of creativity as you go about each day. The glories of autumn beckon and challenge our senses. Examine the detail of that flower or leaf. Marvel at the markings on that unusual bug. When possible (due to pandemic restrictions), visit museums and events that showcase the incredible spectrum of creative endeavors—from nature, to art, to science and architecture. So many possibilities!
God has gifted us with a world of intricate design and purpose, and we can instill in our children a desire to explore every corner. What a joy to join them on the journey!
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full