Help, my two year old is addicted to technology.

Isn’t that special?

It started out cute enough.  In fact I was quite impressed and perhaps a little filled with a certain amount of pride.  Charlie my two year old has amazingly mastered the use of our laptops, iPhones and the like.  He can fire up the laptop, navigate towards Kidos (a safe internet site built primarily for preschoolers recommended by SafeEyes) and interact with the different videos and games.  He asks to play my iPhone and is able to find, switch between, start up and play all the games.  Alphabet songs, matching games, memory games, shapes and puzzles are second nature for him already.  He has learned to count and say the alphabet mainly from his interaction with this technology.

That is good…right?  I kind of thought it was good, but I’m not so sure anymore.

I’ve created a monster (or unleashed one)

Each morning, each evening, at church, driving in the car, anytime there is free time my little cute son is acting like a junkie needing a fix. “Can I play your iPhone?  Can I play webkinz? Can I play computer?”

We homeschool and it has been quite convenient to have him occupied with the computer focused on some “educational” material.  But now that is all he wants to do. I want him to play with blocks, to run around outside. I want to see him breaking stuff, throwing rocks, but he just wants to play games.  I suggest building a fort, shooting nerf guns, running around outside and he throws a fit wanting to play video games.

Now he does receive proper correction when he is throwing a fit and he doesn’t get to do whatever he wants, but I’m still concerned about his strong reaction to the video games.  It is a little troubling to say the least. Is this OK?  Is this normal, sinful, independent behavior or is there something more powerful at play because of the nature of the video technology?

I know firsthand how powerful technology and entertainment can be to anyone, but is there a greater danger for little ones?.  I have this unscientific, yet highly fearful suspicion that the neurological affects of technology on small children may be greater than I realize.   We are in a new day and age.  This is the beginning of the generations completely raised on technology from birth.   What will be the long term effects?  What are some wise parenting tips to having balance in this matter?  Is there an age that is too young to be playing with this kind of digital fire?  Is is simply fun and possibly even educational?  What strong connections are being made in his young mind that will forever alter his personality?

I wold love to hear your thoughts on this matter. Let me know what you think.  Maybe there is a good balance to all of this.

What are you doing for family devotions? Part 001

Want to know what others are doing for family devotions?

Pastor Sam Shim from the Gospel Prism Blog and pastor of The Wellspring Church (as far as I can tell) had a cool review of books they have been using for family devotions.  He makes a great statement I think is worth remembering,

Let me first say that there is no standard for family worship.  And we are by no means that standard.  Also, I don’t know if there is that one book, other than Scripture, that is THE standard devotional to be used for family worship.  We have tried many different devotionals, all of them have worked for a season.  Some of them we will probably use again.

I just thought that was great wisdom to remember.  There are lots of great resources and tools, none is perfect except the Bible. Don’t get caught up in one perfect resource.  Try some out if they work, great, if not, move on. I think the important thing (like so much in our life) is just do something and keep at it.  That is my challenge for this year.  I need to move beyond great ideas and start doing.

Their structure for family worship:

Here is how Pastor Sam and his family structure their family worship:

So here is our structure for family worship:

1.  We sing hymns together.  My wife plays the piano very well.  And we choose hymns of all types, often learning hymns together.  We’ve sung a vast array of Charles Wesley, Fanny Crosby, Isaac Watts, and many others.  (At Christmas, we always try singing the Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus together.  The kids love that.  Ok, I love that, they sort of roll their eyes).

2.  Then we read the Word aloud together.

3.  Then we sing the Gloria Patri together in response to reading the word.  (I know.  You’re probably thinking, “Gloria Who?”  It’s something I saw at Park Street Church in Boston.  After the reading of the Word, they sing the “Gloria Patri.” (Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost…)

4.  Then we read from Long Story Short.

5.  We then sing either the Doxology (Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow) or the Benediction (The Lord Bless you and keep you with the Amens) or we do both.

6.  We read from the Church History book.

7.  We close in prayer, and we pray for the sick, for missionaries, for current events.

All told, it is probably 30 minutes long.

So, back to Pastor Sam’s list:

Here’s a quick overview of the different books he recommends.  For a full description of each be sure to read his reviews on his blog You can preview them all in my affiliate widget below. You will be taken to Amazon if you click on the images below.  Enjoy.  Let me know other resources you have found and maybe we can get a second update to this post real soon.  Please leave comments below! By the way, even if you don’t want to get any of the recommended devos for your family, you MUST click on the arrows-it is way too much fun!

Being A Dad Is So Much Fun!

At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

I am kidding.  I really do love being a dad.  It is one of those true blessings in life.  One of my goals for the upcoming year is to slow down enough so I don’t miss out on the things which really matter.  I don’t want to be so grumpy with my kids.  I don’t want to be so busy doing my stuff I forget what of mine truly has value.

Families are a blessing from the Lord.  Am I living like they are a blessing?  Do I rejoice with those who rejoice?  When my kids discover something new and exciting to them do I celebrate with them?  Do I mourn with those who mourn?  When my kids lose it do I empathize or simply communicate irritation?

God help me to love them like you have loved me.  Help me to be the kind of Father you are to me.

Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk -DAD!

The cliche’ is a nice reminder that stuff  happens in life and it is not worth getting too upset about simple mistakes.  I am so quick to tell my kids they are overreacting when they freak out about something so small and seemingly stupid.  I realized though when one of my kids did spill some milk I huffed and puffed, rolled my eyes, said their name in a long drawn out sigh and basically tried to make them feel as stupid as possible.  Why?  Because the spilled milk was going to inconvenience me.

Advice to self-if I am trying to teach my kids not to stress the small stuff, then I have to stop stressing the small stuff.