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School's Out: What Now?

The last week of school, as I remember, had a lot of drama: games, parties, thank-yous, and also clean-up. And then suddenly, we were at home for two months.

How you keep your children occupied during the summer months at home is as important as attending school; perhaps even more important. In most families, dad and mom work outside the home. It’s a blessing if mom is able to be at home with the children: spending time with them, talking with them, having them help in the house or in the backyard. It is a great asset to keep them active with good things!

If the children are a little older, parents can help them establish a small summer business, like mowing lawns for neighbors, or walking the neighbor’s dog. Children learn the value of money and saving it in their accounts. So much can be taught at home in a fun way.

We should be very concerned if we just leave our children to their own devices. The I-Pad is a popular one – gaming for young children. Perhaps parents have noble intentions. The I-Pad keeps their children quiet. It’s seen as a good baby-sitting tool and parents avoid the rigors of disciplined living.

But here is the concern. It’s virtual, not real. It’s not reality. It’s fake war, fake relationships. It numbs creativity and social skills. Above all, it’s addictive. I’ve met children who are on these devices for hours every day and when it’s time to take these devices away, they throw temper tantrums: punch, hit, scream and cry. Short term gain, in this case, brings long term pain.

The Bible talks about parents bringing up their children “in the training and instruction of the Lord.” In submission to Christ, who alone can change our hearts and the hearts of our children, we are to train them and instruct them. This is the hope for the next generation.

Nurturing our children is hard work, requiring discipline, love and time. It means spending time with them, and also teaching them practical skills. Everyone has time. The question is: is this a priority for us?

We have our children once and they are the legacy we leave behind. School’s out: what now? How about taking the time to cultivate relationships with the children God has given you?

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