We do a disservice to our children by making everything fun.
Sure, fun has its place.
Play is important. Vacations are exciting. Celebrations are wonderful.
If we make every moment a search for fun, we lose the virtue of learning to be content in all things.
I have seen my generation and younger people focus so much on fun that they are so dissatisfied with life they can barely function with the mundane.
Everything isn’t fun. Nor should it be.
Focusing on fun is detrimental to our social development and spiritual health.
As a parent, I teach my children to accept the boring without complaint. I want them to be content, not constantly seeking highs. I don’t want them to be disappointed when every event, situation, or task isn’t perpetual fun.
So many have been raised on the Disney and Hollywood ideals that we can’t accept anything less than a fun, happy ending.
We can’t love God or our neighbor if we lose sight of Christian ideals because we seek after fun all the time.
Life isn’t always fun.
We don’t always win.
Everyone shouldn’t get a trophy or award.
It’s not fun to lose, but it’s an important life skill to learn how to be a gracious loser.
We can be the shoulder they cry on when they tried their best and it wasn’t good enough.
Parents want to save their children from sadness and disappointment, of course. It’s better to be empathetic and offer a hug and say, “Maybe next time.” Use this as an opportunity to learn about oneself.
- Why did you lose?
- Can you improve?
- What can you do differently?
- Check your attitude.
There are many circumstances in life that we don’t understand.
We can help our children navigate life’s ups and downs in a healthy way, by explaining our experiences, by teaching what the Bible says, and seeking godly counsel.
School isn’t always fun.
Every moment of school time is not fun.
Every subject is not a favorite. Some love math and others love history. Every lesson doesn’t have to be fun and games.
Some of my best school memories were the hard tasks and the toughest teachers were my favorites because they didn’t back down. They challenged me and wouldn’t let me fail, even when I wanted to quit.
We need to teach our kids to love learning and they can always seek out fun ways to learn on their own. We shouldn’t have to provide entertainment to our kids all along the way.
It’s important for children to trudge through some unpleasant, challenging tasks. We don’t have to rescue our kids from every negative experience. We can hold her hand while she cries through algebra. We can encourage him during the hard research essay.
We need to teach responsibility and integrity, study skills and time management.
We should not do the science project for our daughter the night before it’s due. We should not rescue our son when he forgets his homework folder on the counter. We should not ask the teacher for special concession if the child isn’t ready for the test.
Kids need to have opportunities to learn responsbility and develop a good work ethic.
Natural consequences build character.
Church isn’t always fun.
Most church services are not fun. They’re not exciting. Many are convicting.
It is unpleasant to be faced with our human failings.
For kids, it’s tiresome to sit with adults on a hard pew bench and listen to a pastor drone on in churchese. They just want to get to the fellowship time for a cookie and Capri Sun.
The past 25 years or so, church has become a rock concert in an effort to make church more fun. They call it “Contemporary” or “Relevant.” It’s postmodern church.
If I wanted to attend a rock concert, I would cough up $75+ dollars to sit (or stand) in a stuffy, overcrowded pot-smelling arena with thousands of my closest friends to see an overpaid, egotistical, vaguely talented musician lip sync to his CD, choreographed with pyrotechnics and laser lights.
But we want to attend almost the same sort of environment and call it “praise and worship.”
Jesus Christ Superstar, eh?
I want my children to worship Jesus of the Bible, not church or a pastor or a music director.
It’s OK for church to be boring.
Jesus didn’t come to entertain.
Friends aren’t always fun.
Having friends isn’t always fun.
People are difficult. People are sinful. People make mistakes.
We live in a world of disposable relationships.
We don’t have to be friends with everyone. We don’t have to like everyone.
We do have to be kind.
Too often, people end a friendship for a petty reason, without even attempting reconciliation.
In a time of the most communication opportunities in history, we often don’t keep in touch with our friends.
Many of us feel it’s too much effort to maintain friendships. We’re selfish.
And we’re teaching our kids that it’s ok to throw away people who offend us.
Marriage isn’t always fun.
Just like friendships, we live in a world of disposable marriages.
We live in a country that isn’t even really quite sure what marriage should be.
The actual divorce rate is about 40%.
The divorce rate among Christians is rising.
I know at least 5 Christian mommy bloggers who have divorced in the last couple years for various reasons. I know at least 2 pastors (of two different denominations) whose wives left them and they divorced.
Divorce is hard. I should know.
Marriage is hard work.
Marriage takes 100% effort from both the husband and wife. When there is an imbalance, one or the other becomes resentful.
Parenting isn’t always fun.
The media portrays parenting as a fun game or absolute hell.
There are reality shows that exploit teen moms as glamourous or weak parents with out-of-control kids.
Parenting is hard.
There is a plethora of conflicting information bombarding new parents on how to eat best for a healthy pregnancy, how to get baby to sleep through the night in a month, how to get the toddler to toilet train in a weekend, how to teach blind obedience to your preschooler, what is the best schooling method, how to get your kids to sit still in church, which chores to expect your tween to do, how to talk with your teen…
It’s exhausting. It’s depressing.
Most parents just wing it, swinging back and forth, desperately seeking a solution to whichever problem rears its ugly head at any given moment.
There is no parenting guidebook.
Or is there?
The Bible offers some pretty great parenting instruction.
Parenting offers extreme highs when we are proud of our kid’s accomplishments and milestone achievements.
Parenting offers extreme lows when we don’t know where to turn for help or what to do other than fall on our knees and pray.
Parents have to consider what is best for each child in every situation. We shouldn’t take the easy way out. We shouldn’t do what is best for ourselves. We shouldn’t save our child from the consequence if she can learn a great lesson from her mistake.
Tough love isn’t easy.
We need to offer character building opportunities. We should offer more and more responsibility as the child can handle well until he can fly the nest.
We should strive for balance in every aspect of our lives. Fun should not be the ultimate goal.
By all means, have fun and show your kids a joyful countenance. But teach children the difference between godly fun and seeking after no-responsibility “fun.”
Linking up: Simple Life of a Fire Wife, The Educators Spin On It, ABC Creative Learning, A Life in Balance, The Modest Mom Blog, Raising Homemakers, Wondermom Wannabe, Gluesticks and Gumdrops, True Aim Education, The Natural Homeschool, Imparting Grace, Graced Simplicity, Frog’s Lilypad, Adventures of Mel, Happy and Blessed Home,