Developing a TechSmart Home
It seems I just can’t drift away from this topic. Once again I find myself engrossed by the influence of technology in our youth. My last Blog was to highlight the need for parents to sit up and take notice of the dangerous conditions that exist in our culture. The potential for our children to slip into a digital swamp of useless and potentially dangerous ground is real. As parents who want to follow the biblical mandate to raise our children in the way they should go, we must be vigilant at all times.
Parenting is an upstream battle. You must paddle constantly. If you slow down or stop paddling you will go backwards, and your children will be left without the necessary mature oversight. Their whims and desires will be deferred to the current amoral culture. Effective use of our time is the biggest weapon to combat these influences. We must actively be a part of our children’s daily lives, guiding and directing them on how to handle their use of technology. This may seem difficult to do. It would be so much easier to depend on giving them screen time to keep them busy so we can get some alone time at the end of our day.
Last week, numerous PCS parents attended the digital seminar hosted by C4 Church, presented by Paul Robertson from Youth Unlimited (Toronto).
The seminar gave some practical steps to manage the electronic footprint in our homes. I was able to obtain a copy of the practical response to this issue. Below, I have outlined just a few of them that you might be able to use in your home;
1) Pray constantly for your child because only the Holy Spirit can change their heart.
2) Don’t overly protect your child from pain and failure - it builds character.
3) Use and set digital boundaries with software programs such as Kidswifi and Digital Covenant.
4) Create digital free zones in your home, especially the dinner table.
5) Use hard copies of the Bible at church and home instead of your device.
6) Model the tech habits you expect from your child.
7) Keep them off phones and data packages as long as possible. It won’t harm them.
8) If they want social media sign them up from your computer. But do they really need it?
9) No one sleeps with a screen of any type in their room. Chargers are in the parents bedroom.
10) Encourage relationships. Kids with better social skills do better in life.
11) Have your child sign a digital contract and emphasize the need to keep their word.
12) Teach them that technology is a tool not a toy.
13) Boredom is your friend. They will figure out how to live without screens by engaging in other activities.
14) Go screenless when out with the family. Life will not collapse for a few hours.
15) Encourage time in nature and outdoor play.
16) Don’t believe the lie that if your child isn’t tech savvy they won’t survive the world. Teach the skills they will need for a high-tech future - decision making, time management, hard work and relational skills.
So do any of these resonate with you? Are there some you need to implement right now. I pray that you will have the strength to practice them right away and chart a new direction for your family. Never forget that YOU are the parent and God is holding YOU responsible for these decisions. Whining and complaining by your child is not the issue. Rather, what is God calling you to do in your family?
If you missed the seminar, you can still access a video of the evening here (Pro Tip: The main session starts at the 22 minute mark).
Be in the Word.