Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. – James 1:17
Coloring turned out to be one of the main themes of our weekend with the children. Coloring and baking and building and dominoes. But that’s not surprising when you consider how wet and cold it was outside. Constant rain and a high of 41-degrees are not exactly conducive to running off energy outside.
What may surprise you is the low-tech nature of the activities. We’re not anti-technology, we just don’t believe that screen-time holds a candle to the imagination, self-direction, and inventiveness that comes with hands-on: Arts, crafts, reading, building, and games like checkers, or Scrabble, or the “Jenga” you can see David playing with his great-grandmother.
Do you know what we played in the car on the way back to Virginia? Spelling games! Beks loved it so much she picked up a book she found in the back seat and quizzed us by reversing the game. “Grandaddy, what does u-n-c-o-m-p-l-i-c-a-t-e-d spell?” Grandmamma, what does c-i-v-i-l-i-z-e-d spell?” Then she wanted to know what the words meant.
For us, mealtimes together are and always have been 100% screen free, and that includes television! I’ve written about this extensively at AllProDad.com, but mealtimes – especially the family dinner hour – are all about the art of manners and good conversation. And, yes, we even make the children hang around sometimes when they have finished eating. “You know how we are!” we say, “we’re going to sit around the table and talk a little more.”
Technology certainly has its place – we watched “The Incredibles 2” together one evening, and we used YouTube to research domino building techniques. Otherwise, no devices at all!
Oh, there was one more act of grand-parenting I imposed for the first time, and this was at the church. So sorry David and Beks, there will be no more “kids fun-pack” to distract during worship. They are seven and five now, and worship is about participation.
Here are a few photos from the weekend. Joy like this is such a beautiful encouragement.
Grateful and blessed – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.