Summer has come again and the world is a bright beautiful place. The “Vacation Fund” jars are full and kids are already tired of being confined to the house. It may be that they need a break from their favorite electronic devices. According to research from the Kaiser Foundation, The typical teen logs more than seven hours a day and more than 50 hours a week in front of a TV, computer, or cell phone screen. To combat this syndrome, drastic measures may be needed.The Lord has given us special stewardship over the children in our lives. The Lord has given us special stewardship over the children in our lives. The Family: A Proclamation to the World teaches that “Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.”
“Wholesome recreational activities” could include interactive road trips. If you have enough toys and enough headphones, the traveling can be peaceful, but is it wholesome? Is it recreational? Is it founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ? Does it provide anything toward your family togetherness goals? In order to feel the Holy Spirit in our homes and cars we need to recognize that there is a better way to keep kids happy.
Here are a few ideas that have proven track records.
1) On road trips, play the ABC game. Find words that begin with each letter of the alphabet on signs, items outside the car, or items inside the car. Restricting the sources adds a greater level of challenge. People must talk to each other to play.
2) Sing fun camp songs. When you tire of those, try having the group write their own lyrics to some of the tunes.
3) Tell stories of your life and experiences or those of your ancestors. Le the kids discover how these stories relate to the experiences they are having.
4) On a larger scale, grandparents can organize “Grandma Camp.” Invite grandchildren to visit in manageable groups. Plan activities suited to their ages, and always with family- and/or gospel-oriented goals in mind.
These activities will not keep children quiet. They will not keep adults quiet, either. What they are designed to do is make everyone happy and enrich their lives.
Prepare to have more fun than you ever imagined by setting goals to reach new heights in your relationships and responsibilities in your family.