Over the years we have realized that you can learn many things about your children just by watching them play. And you can deal with many, many character issues in doing so.
We used to have great 'peace' when we would send our children down to the basement to play when the noise got too loud to bear. But the last couple of years we have realized that we were missing out on much training and so decided that we would send them down very rarely.
I must say at first this took great patience on my part because there was always someone playing under my feet. But I realized that it was only because of my inconvenience that I wanted to send them away to play. Now I enjoy having them play around me for a couple of reasons. The greatest one being all the character issues that I can deal with just in listening to them.
Not to mention the hilarious things they say when they are playing!
We have a standard in our home. You don't do anything in 'play' that you would not do in real life.
If you are playing with people, you say kind things to each other, you treat each other with respect, you don't hurt each other ect. And therefore we don't buy toys that promote characters contrary to this.
We don't let our children play things that are against the law in real life, ie: cops and robbers, outrunning a cop car, speeding ect.
We don't watch videos that promote ungodly character traits. Even some videos that deal with the issues can cause some bad habits in your children (eg unkind language, unkind actions).
When our girls play 'house' they learn to nurture their babies and serve others with love.
In setting these standards, we have been able to have many discussions on being kind, treating others with respect, loving as Jesus loves ect. Playing time can be great training time!
So here's a challenge to you today. Listen to how your children are playing. Pay attention to what they are watching. Is it carrying on the training and godly character qualites that you are trying to instill in them.
1 Peter 5:8 says: Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
I believe the devil has found his way into many homes through toys, movies, video games ect. all in the name of fun and play. Be alert, keep your heads up parents. It's your job to line your children's play up to God's Word and in the end it will help you re-enforce the values you are trying to instill in them.