I am the proud father of two boys in elementary school. My oldest is 11, and my youngest is 9. Both are taking after their dad and are very interested in technology and the Internet. This is both good news and bad news. The problems with this are that the Internet is not exactly a safe place and it can be easy to use it too much. Here is a list of 7 things that I believe every parent wishes they could do with technology:
Set time limits: Parents wish they could set daily time limits on any app or website they want. They wish they could customize how much time their kids spend on each device in their home and set a total online time for the day. This is not just for the kids but for everyone in the home.
Filter: Parents wish they could set individual filter levels for each family member. It would be great if there was a way to have age levels for different groups and customization by platform, app, website and content. Parents want to choose a filter that matches each person’s age and interests but won’t let inappropriate content through.
View insights: Parents wish they could stay informed about where their kids spend their time online including mobile devices, computers and gaming devices. It would be great to see each family member’s total time spent online and the sites visited.
Pause the Internet: It’s dinnertime, and everyone brings their device to the table. It would be great if parents could simply pause every device in their home so that conversations could happen around the dinner table again.
Put devices to sleep: Parents wish they could create a time at night that each device sleeps for each family member. They could simply set a sleep time, when the devices will disconnect from the Internet, and an awake time, for the morning when the devices will reconnect.
Block ads: Parents wish they could block ads for their kids. Kids are curious and click around on the Internet and on their mobile devices a lot more than their parents. Parents wish there was a way to block inappropriate ads.
Ensure safe searches: Parents wish that there was an easy way to set search settings across all devices connected to their home network (smart phones, tablets, computers, gaming consoles).
Believe it or not, but all of these things are possible. Up until now, it took a bunch of different services to do it. You could dive into OpenDNS and download a bunch of different apps or software. It was not easy. Recently I found a new device called Circle with Disney. Circle with Disney is a wireless device that you put into your home, and it connects to your WiFi network and does all the things listed above. If you are interested you can get one now from http://meetcircle.com, and it will be available soon fromDisneyStore.com/circle. I am glad that every parent will now be able to do these seven things. I truly believe it will help families with some huge problems.
Do you know a feature of technology a parent wants that I missed? If so, please share it. I believe that most parents see technology as something that has the potential to be a great thing, but they’ll admit they need help with it for sure.
This touching Bible craft of making friendship bracelets also shares a little message about how each piece of yarn represents a person — each equal and worthy of love in God’s eyes.
• Brightly colored yarn, enough for each child to have a color and a piece about a foot long.
• White yarn of the same texture
• Little charms or standard plastic craft-store beads are optional
Christianity has many symbols of love and friendship. A bracelet is a circle, and it is a symbol of a family — the Christian family. A braid is long, sleek and organized, symbolic of unity without struggle. Each strand of yarn on the bracelets you make (and each charm) is going to be a symbol of one of you. The person who wears each bracelet will see that color whenever they wear it and remember that you are part of their unity circle of love, from loving Jesus here in our class. Let’s get started!
1. Pass out colors of yarn to each child.
2. Have children cut enough strands so that each child has one for the all the children in the class including herself.
3. To make the bracelet:
4. Lay all strands out side-by-side to make sure they are close to the same length — about a foot long.
5. Separate the strands into sets of three to make your braid. If you have six children, each set will have two strands. If you have nine students, each set will have three strands. If you have a number of students not divisible by three, fill in with white strands, which can represent God and Jesus.
7. Gather the strands together and tie a knot in one end, leaving a tail of about one inch.
8. Take your three sets and begin to braid a standard braid…OR…
9. If you or your children want to learn a fun new braiding technique, there is a great video on YouTube for braiding six strands. The best explanation comes with watching Rivka Malka Perlman complete a six-strand braid on multi-colored challah-dough strands. Listen to her helpful instructions and try it yourself! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dSaIPHGrfg
10. Stop every once in a while to add a charm or bead until all yours are used up.
11. When you finish about seven inches of braid, or enough to fit around your wrist, tie off the bottom like you did the top. If you did a three-strand standard braid, you should have a fairly long tail. If you did a six-strand braiding technique, you should have only a short tail.
12. Tie the ends together either by creating box knots using the same colored strands or just by tying them together. Leave just enough room for the bracelet to slip off if desired.
Braiding is like creating friendships. It’s a little difficult at first. Just like strands can get tangled up in a braid, friendships can become a little messy, so that you have to backtrack and “straighten out” any hurts. But if you stick with it, your friendships can run neat and orderly, like these braids!
Next Question: Who qualifies as a friend? Who qualifies to receive your love on Valentine’s Day? To answer a similar question among some rabbis, Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan. In it, stranger came to the aid of a man who had been robbed and beaten. He gave first aid, then brought the man to an inn and gave money for the innkeeper to take care of him. The Good Samaritan made the stranger his friend simply because the stranger needed help. That’s God’s type of friendship.
In other words, a person qualifies for your love on Valentine’s Day if he or she is loved by God. That means everyone — the people you love naturally and the people you’re not “feelin’ it” for.
The bracelet is representative of all your “loves” in this class. Wear it and remember that you are sisters and brothers in Christ. Start “feelin’ it” for all these people, because you will be in heaven together for a very long time!
You might also be interested in these other Bible craft activities!
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The post “Braiding Friendships” and a Friendship Bracelet Bible Craft! appeared first on Christianity Cove.
Often in Christian communities, gentleness, or having a fragile, quiet spirit can sometimes be misinterpreted as being a pushover. They are every not the similar issue. But what about verses like flip the alternative cheek (Matthew 5:39), go the extra mile (Matthew 5:41), and pray for a lot of who persecute you (Matthew 5:44)? In […]
When you think about Jesus, what adjective first comes to mind? Considering who he is and what he has done (and continues to do), the question almost seems too big to answer. How do limited human beings describe a limitless God? Where do we even begin? Mighty, wise, creative, fierce, patient, faithful, and humble are […]
Here in the Whitney household, we’ve just completed the February Freeze. It’s an annual tradition where we try to only spend money on the bare essentials during the entire month of February. It’s a great way to reset our spending habits after the holidays and to remember just how much we already have. Dinners can get pretty creative and every year, we learn that there’s a lot that we can do without.
This year was the first year that we explained the February Freeze to the kids. We have been talking about saving for a truck (our car is on it’s last leg!), and this month was a great time to explain that sometimes we have to say “no” to something that would be fun in order to save up for a bigger goal. Check out this article for more ways to talk about money with the kids.
Which of course led to us thinking about the whole kids and money debate. Since she was about 5, Chipmunk has been dog sitting for my parents. They outrageously overpay her and she generally has money to spend at will (which is how she rode the carousel 17 times in a row during our recent trip to Tennessee). However, there are times when she wants something “bigger” (like this ridiculous unicorn she’s in love with) and she has frittered away all her money on Kindle games.
So, we’ve just begun discussions on whether or not to give the kids an allowance and what that exactly entails. Do they get money for setting the table and other routine “family” responsibilities or do they just get money for special tasks like washing windows or mopping the kitchen floor. Should they be expected to do things around the house for no pay, relying instead on outside jobs (like dog sitting or raking leaves) to bring in the big bucks?
As of right now, cleaning and helping around the house are just part of our family rhythm and I hate to complicate that with charts and starts and dollars. However, I do want to start teaching about money management skills sooner rather than later and I know they are going to need some money to manage in order to do that.
I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Leave me a comment and let me know what works in your house or any other tips you might have!