At 12 years old I would want to start leaving your son with questions to consider rather than pronouncements. But from 12 years old on up, it is far more complicated than when they are younger. For a toddler, discipline is pretty simple. You are not having to work through heart issues. It is a blatantly ethical world, at that age, nothing but right/wrong, yes/no. But as they get older you want to draw your child in and give him an opportunity to think about his own heart, think about it in relation to material, think about it in relation to Scripture, think about it with time for the Spirit to possibly convict. You are not bringing every conversation to a conclusion that he must agree with.
With your restrictions, you want to explain why you are doing what you are doing. Restrictions are important. We are fully for restrictions as long as the purpose is explained—so your child doesn’t think this is just punitive action we are taking in your life without explanation, without a why, without a purpose. We want to create an alternative. We want to anticipate this temptation, anticipate this restriction and [ask] what alternative can we present to wean our child from that particular form of idolatry.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Dealing with Idols in Your Child's Heart
C. J. Mahaney has wise counsel about Video Games, Idols, and Your Child’s Heart. The post is less about video games and more about idols, for as Mahaney points out, "Your son may grow out of his love for video games, but he will not grow out of the idol factory in his heart."