This topic is adapted from the Real Truth Real Quick YouTube channel.
Technology has provided incredible advancements, making information and communication easier between people. However, it does provide a tool for both good and evil. Parents are challenged by the ever-expanding development and use of technology as children and teens find it to be part of their everyday life and education. How much exposure should parents allow?
The First Step is Discussion
Most technology isolates or redirects us from the people and life that is happening right in front of us. Our focus is often given exclusively to our digital device when we are using it. For this reason, texting is banned while driving in forty-seven states and the District of Columbia.
Even in our own homes, we can neglect, even ignore, family members while using technology. Even during dinner times, many families are trading face-to-face sharing for virtual communication.
Parents should have discussions on a regular basis with their children about technology. Talk about not only the benefits of technology, but also share about the dangers.
A difficult aspect of parenting is balancing protection and trust. It is a basic parental responsibility to protect your child. At the same time there is the need to help develop the child into a trustworthy individual, preparing them to be successful as an adult.
It is possible to put restrictions on your child’s electronic device, limiting what they might see or when they could use it do things, such as text. But as technology continues to develop, workarounds and backdoors for any parental restrictions become increasingly available, negating their effectiveness. Ongoing communication between parent and children is still the best control.
Consider restricting the circumstances when the children can use technology. For example, set a rule that they cannot use technology when they are alone in their room. As they follow this rule, consider limiting times when the rule can be lifted as a demonstration of trust.
Don’t Trade Christian Values for Cultural Values
In Proverbs 22:6, the writer of Proverbs shares that parenting is about teaching a child to make correct choices. It isn’t about teaching them to be simply an obedient child. Parenting is about training a child to make wise and godly choices throughout their life.
The only way for a parent to train a child effectively is to give the child opportunity to put the Christian values they have been taught into practice, especially, when they face cultural values and peer pressure the world casts on them. When your children fail, don’t make them feel ashamed, but take the opportunity to teach them. Parents can mirror for their children the unconditional love they have received from God. When failure comes, offer forgiveness and restoration of relationship.
Raise a Wise Generation
Technology is not evil. However, it can be used to do ungodly things. It can be a tool to harm others or ourselves. Inversely, the same technology can be used to demonstrate and encourage godliness. Wise parents both teach and demonstrate to their children how God can be honored in the use of technology. Godly use of technology can lead to dramatic growth in God’s kingdom, but this opportunity will only become reality through those who have been trained to do so.
The teens and children of today will be using technology. Parents can refuse to give them the technology, but items, such as laptops, are common tools used for their education. Society has already embraced technology, and the trend not going to slow down. Christian parents should train their children to use technology to honor God.
Written content on this topic by David Bassett.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you
- What safeguards/rules have you put in place for your kids’ use of technology thus far? How did you decide upon those rules? How effective have those rules been?
- What are some rules you’ve heard other families have put in place that seems prudent? How have/can you incorporated those into your family?
- Read Proverbs 22:3. What are some of the real dangers facing our kids on their tech devices? How will you talk to your kids about those dangers?
- Read Proverbs 22:6 What are some of the important values you want to teach your kids? How does technology promote or work against those values?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.