I have really been encouraged by a lot of ideas and thoughts that Susie Larson shares in Growing Grateful Kids. One of the ideas that she shares is this:
They wanted their kids to be friends with believers and non-believers, but they set this rule for them. If their friends didn't believe in God, they told them that they could be friends with someone they could stand up to, but if what their friend thought was more important than their convictions, then it wasn't wise to be friends with that person.
I thought that was wise advice for adults and children alike. I do desire my children to be friends with other kids who know the Lord and children who don't, but I wasn't sure how to go about it wisely. So, I appreciated this advice and I thought I'd share it on this blog.
This story was shared in the chapter about restraint. That chapter has really stuck in my head ever since I read it. She articulates several thoughts I've had but hadn't put together. One of the things she shares is that if we find that we need something (and that it causes us to behave selfishly) then that is a clue that we need to let go of it. It is wise to fast from it "not for legalism's sake, but for freedom's sake" (her words in Growing Grateful Kids). I had never heard fasting spoken of that way, but it makes a lot of sense. I had just been feeling that I needed to not watch the show "The Good Wife" next year. I didn't like the feeling that I needed to watch it.
She also talked about applying this idea to our children. If our children "need" a toy or a video game, or the telephone, then that is a clue that it is an unhealthy need. She spoke of taking away a toy from her children for a time and then giving it back when they have let go of it. When the toy was returned, the children had a sense of gratefulness and appreciated the toy without "needing" it.
That is what we did with television 2 1/2 years ago with Sami. I'm thankful we did! Her behavior was horrible because she "needed" television. We fasted for several months from it. Her behavior improved drastically. Ever since then, we have only watched television periodically and we only watch videos.
But, I think I'm going to keep this in mind if we run into this issue with other toys.