Helps for Your Productive Summer

Most have noticed the negative effects on today’s youth from spending hours watching TV and movies or playing video games. Laziness, bad worldly attitudes, and an appetite for more entertainment is the consistent downward trend of today’s youth (sadly including Christians). “Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things” (Philippians 3:19). I believe you don’t want that for your children. May I encourage you to redeem these summer hours and turn them into beneficial use of time for your children? “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16). I was thinking about how we could help you with that and the resources we have available. Let me briefly share those ideas with you.

What about reading rather than screen time? Here are ways to use the 14 children’s reading books that we offer. Of course, children who can read could simply read them. What about an older child reading them to younger siblings? Maybe you want bonding time and would read them out loud while your children cuddle around you. After that, you might have discussions about the book’s content. You could also look at what is in the book that your children can try themselves – starting personal Bible time, a garage clean-out/organization project, an anniversary date at home for Dad and Mom for the children, or an IJN (In Jesus Name) project. So many are pleased to tell us of the great things their children learn and then emulate from the Moody books. There are multiple options for using these books this summer or at any time.

What about making a chore plan and teaching chores to your children of all ages this summer? I have a delightful story of a mom who invested in her children when they were little, giving them chore responsibility, and the delightful memories a now grown-up daughter has of that. 

“One of my earliest and fondest memories is when I was something like 3 years old. We lived in a small apartment — my parents and my brother. He must have been at kindergarten, because it was always in the morning when my mother tidied up. At that time we had a rug with fringes, and it was my job to straighten the fringes! Just imagine! Straightening the fringes is more or less useless in a family with little children, but I remember how eagerly I tried to do a good job. My mother always pointed out how good we worked together in making our home neat and clean. I guess my mum just wanted to keep me busy so that she could do the cleaning as efficiently as possible. What I remember up to this day is the wonderful feeling of being helpful to my mum. I told her the other day, and we both laughed about this. She also remembers those days as a precious time.”

That mom was doing much more than building memories in her little girl’s heart. She was teaching her to enjoy work and be responsible. She was giving her a sense of worth in contributing to the good of the family and home. She was building a sense of accomplishment in a job well done. What a powerful investment for the future good of her little girl! We have a book called Managers of Their Chores to help you with a chore system.

Finally what about helping your children become good conversationalists this summer? Being able to have a conversation is at the root of relationships – in the family, neighborhood, work, church – wherever your children are and whatever their age. A good conversation might be the forerunner of a beautiful marriage. It might help your child obtain his dream job. It could be the path to leading someone to the Lord. Are you equipping your children with conversation skills for life? Our book Making Great Conversationalists assists you with this task and gives you projects as you work toward this goal.

Be committed to a productive summer with your children, instilling good habits and character in them rather than taking the path of least resistance by letting them be entertained by their devices or TV. Make plans now so that it will happen. If you don’t, school begins before you know it, with disappointment in your heart for nothing of value to show from your summer.