2. Being Overly Critical
When it comes to teaching our kids we have to choose our spots, especially when pointing out when they have erred. Our kids need to know that we are their best ally, not their worst critic. You don’t need to have a discussion about every mistake they make. They probably are aware already that they messed up. Instead, ask them questions about how they feel, what they think they might have done different, and then give them encouragement. Tell them stories of your own failures at the same age. Listening and empathizing will earn you currency. Also, make sure you get excited and ask a lot of questions when they experience success. That will be their favorite subject.
“If you wore your hair past your ears, you were going to hell.”
“If you wore a colored dress shirt to church, instead of a white shirt, you were going to hell.”
“If you were at a stop light and looked poorly at a woman and then got into a wreck and died, you were going to hell.”
The list of rules and unofficial law went on and on. Deep diving into the insanity of whether you wore a short sleeve shirt versus a long sleeve shirt, to church, determining your eternal destination.
“God’s grace was something that was preached but not understood.”
God reminded me this past week that we all come from different places. Even members of the same church, who are fellow believers in Christ, have prior built foundations. Rules and family situations, that may have felt true and normal at the time, which turned out to be built on lies of men.
I’m reminded that if the backdrops of our lives can differ so much with those that are around us, what about those that we encounter online?
I think we can easily assume that others are just like us. Raised, perhaps, in stable families; Raised in churches that were more about God’s grace versus invented “Biblical” law.
“I was afraid to read the Bible.”
We assume so much in our day-to-day interactions. This week, when I was able to actually listen to someone, I heard a different story than my own. I had assumed, perhaps projected my own experience, and I was wrong.
God is teaching me to listen more intently. I can’t imagine growing up without the peace that God has shown me through his grace. I can’t imagine thinking that my slightest action was going to send me to hell. I’m sure my wearing shorts to church, more often than not, would secure me a permanent place there… if the laws I described above were founded in truth. Thankfully, God, in his grace, isn’t concerned about my clothing.
The lies of the devil are prevalent. His lies even infect the church. Be aware. Listen. Lift a fellow brother or sister up. Speak truth.
The legacy of the Mii, Nintendo’s player avatar creations, continues with Miitomo. Uniting iOS and Android users, Miitomo is a personable social network experiment. Inhabited by Facebook and Twitter friends, Miitomo encourages and rewards players for:
- Answering questions
- Reading, listening, liking, and responding to your friends replies
Gamification of Social Media: Check
There is also an odd game within the game called Miitomo Drop (drop a player down a board, hope they hit something valuable). As well as options to buy and dress up a player’s Mii. Style points awarded, of course.
Beyond the spongy exterior, the heart-filled frosting of Miitomo tastes hollow. There just isn’t much to do in this app. Yes, Nintendo has done a great job building an oddball social network. I keep wondering though where the gameplay hook is.
As a longtime Animal Crossing fan, the ability to decorate your Mii’s space would be most welcome. Minigames in the vein of the 3DS Mii minigames (Find Mii, Puzzle Swap, etc.) would elevate Miitomo to another level. Nintendo excels when they take a simple concept and refine the player experience.
Miitomo makes great first impression. The missing gameplay hook, the reason to stay and enjoy this weird world, must be found. Mario is indeed missing.
In Raising a Modern-Day Knight, Robert Lewis encourages dads to model positive media behavior. He says that sons are always watching and listening. Using dad’s actions as a way to filter the world.
Talk about a big responsibility.
In my house, I’ve realized that my wife and I are gatekeepers. Curators. We preview and engage all media consumed. Not out of some crazy quest for control but out of love for our son. My experience with Aliens, at the neighbors, in first grade, not going to happen to him. This allows us to introduce age appropriate entertainment. Books, movies, television and games consistent with our Christian worldview.
Sometimes these experiences bring about questions and conversations. Which is fantastic. Just the other night we had a short discussion on Five Nights At Freddy’s, a playground topic.
I am learning that I have more influence, as a parent, than I ever knew. I want Wyatt to grow up to make smart decisions, in all areas of life. Media discernment is a great first step in establishing healthy cultural engagement.