“It” is hard to avoid these days…
Where you should see faces, instead, you see smartphones or the back of laptops. One of my all-time biggest pet peeves are those noise-canceling earbuds that block out other voices completely. Maybe your kids have tried to shame you in your efforts to curb their technology, uh, “addictions”? Maybe in response to your attempts to set up “reasonable” standards, you received disapproving looks or the roll of the eyes?
Today, I want to share five tips that Eric and I have found helpful as we struggle to deal with how to manage what Eric calls, “the technology beast”. We do not suggest these as laws but merely as some helpful ideas that at least will stir your own thoughts to action. Do what you feel God leading you to do. Please share with us what you have found helpful in your family.
1. God is sovereign. As parents, we tend to feel this oppressive weight that we must adequately protect our children from all the evils of the world. It is stifling. It is stressful. We would do well to be proactive but to also remember that God is in control.
He knows the ins and outs of internet danger. He loves our kids even more than we do.
2. Keep electronics out of bedrooms. In our house, phones are docked in the master bedroom at night and computers are not allowed into bedrooms. These two steps make accountability easier.
3. If you do not already have “Circle”, get it. I love Circle! Circle is a device that connects to your home wifi and allows you to have complete control over it. You can set time limits and bedtimes for each individual device connected to your wifi. We have found this tool very helpful. The link in this article contains an affiliate link which means that the ministry will benefit should you choose to purchase.
4. Hold off on giving cell phone privileges as long as possible. For example, in our family, phones are for drivers. We also don’t allow facebook until after 12 years old. That is an arbitrary age. But, it seems to have worked well for us.
5. Remember you are the parent! This is something Eric often tells me. I can easily fall into approval idolatry. What I mean by that is I tend to want my kids to be happy with me. This often results in my being “soft”. I don’t want the kids to get mad at me or think I am (that horrible dreaded word): OVERPROTECTIVE! I melt like Frosty the Snowman and before I know it, I am looking once again at phones and screens rather than faces and beams.
We miss the days when phones had cords and we sent messages with paper and postage stamps. However, technology (which of course has many benefits) is here to stay. Lord! Help us to be wise in defending ourselves and our children. In His strength, and by His grace, we can find His best for our individual families.