I'm not a huge fan of "screen time", preferring my kids to read or play rather than sit in front of a tv/computer/video game.
Make no mistake, I still plant them in front of screens when I need a break, it's just accompanied by a bit of guilt when I do it excessively. (Which happens kind of often in the summer. Ahem.)
But recently we have found some screen time of value. We let the boys get email accounts, using a program called Mifrenz. Terrible name, great program. It allows the boys to send and receive emails only to and from email accounts that have parental approval. So there are no concerns about inappropriate spam or otherwise shady contacts.
Jonathan has been great about emailing the boys fun links with things that interest them. (Paper airplane making...cool music videos...hamsters fighting each other in the style of old karate movies. You know. Weird stuff that boys like.)
But he has also used email to start ongoing discussions about Bible verses. He'll send them a link to a verse, and ask what they think:
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, present your requests to God..."
In response to his "What do you think?" he'll generally get back a one word response like "Cool." Despite the fact that both my boys are, of course, brilliant...they are still 10 and 8. So then Jonathan may ask "What do you think 'anxious' means?" or "Can you think of a time you've been anxious?" It's a great way to start conversations that can continue outside of email.
So if your kids have been begging for computer time, find a safe email program for them to use, and then use that screen time to your advantage!
|Obviously being made to pose for an image for this post.|