Summary: Part of a series on the keys to raising healthy kids; this ones deals with the importance of having fun as a family.

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TEXT: Various Texts

Sunday, July 21, 2002

We have been talking about parenting and some of the tools for parenting. The first week we talked about the importance of discipline. We balance discipline with affirmation or love. We were reminded to be flexible.

There is a fourth tool we are to use. To represent this fourth tool I am using a thermos to represent break time. The fourth tool of parenting is the importance of having some fun. There was a time when parenting circles talked about “quality time” which was compared with “quantity time.” Child experts said that the quality of time was more important than the quantity of time. Then we discovered over time that this does not work. Children need quality time and a large quantity of it.

I like the term “fun” better because you can have quality time and not have fun. Many parents think they are going to have fun with their children and decide to go to Disneyworld. They drag their children to the park and they have a miserable time. You see, we take our inflated, out-of-proportion work ethic and apply to our vacation time. We see vacation time as a short span of time during which we need to show our kids how to have a good time, so we pack as much activity as possible into our vacations so that we can make family memories. But all the while, our kids have a horrible time because we are treating our vacations and our down-time just like we treat our work. Our lives haven’t changed at all–we are still living the busy life.

Far more damaging than drugs, alcohol, abuse, teen rebellion and absent fathers and mothers is the busy life. Child psychologists call it the frantic family syndrome. Does this describe you? We live in an age of the half-read page. We live in the mad passion and the quick dash, the bright night with the nerves tight, the plane hop and the brief stop, the lamp tan and the short span, the big shot in a good spot, the brain strain and the heart’s pain, the cat naps until the spring snaps and the joy is gone. Does this describe your life? Is the fun gone from it?

If so, do what one town did in the 1990’s when recession was predicted. Outside the city limits, this sign was posted: “We understand that a serious recession is supposed to happen this year, but we decided not to participate.” Wouldn’t it be wonderful if outside every home there was a sign much like this.

We understand that families are not spending much time together and are falling apart as a result due to the hurried lifestyle. We can decide not to participate. Our calling is not to live by the world’s claims–our calling is to live by Christ’s call.

How do we keep from living the hurried life when it is modeled all around us? We will take a look at some scripture passages and some principles of how we can have fun .

John 8:36 says this, “So if Christ has set us free, we are free indeed.” We are freed from the systems of the world, we are freed from the way of doing things by the world’s standards. Why are we working so hard? Is it so we can buy the right car, get the right job, have the right house, marry the right girl and have a nice bunch of kids for whom we can provide a great education so that they can get the right job and buy the right car and have the right house and marry the right spouse so they can have great kids and provide a great education so they can grow up one day and get the right job.....

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