Monday, March 12, 2018

Social Media, Devices, and Protecting Our Teens

Are you overwhelmed with all the information you need to know to keep your kids safe on social media and their phones?

You aren't alone. Many parents feel overwhelmed but all the information that is out there and don't know where to begin. But they do know that they want to keep their kids safe.

I have shared some posts in the past on the dangers and some practical tips here and here in case you missed it.

Some of the many problems we face with technology today as parents are:

1. Social media and smartphones weren't around when we were growing up - so we don' have examples of how our parents handled it with us so we have to learn how to keep our children safe on our own, We are kind of like the pioneers to all this but unfortunately, many of us are floundering greatly.

2. It is constantly changing--because there are new apps always rolling out having new capabilities we are in a constant state of having to learn and be aware of what is out there. Many of us are limited on time to be able to do this.

3. We need to realistically face the dangers - it is easy to act like there aren't any, but so many dangers do exist that we cannot put a blind eye to them. We need to properly educate and equip our children how to navigate the internet wisely.

A few ways parents have approached this situation is by:

1. Not giving their child a phone or device and give them child a phone without internet access for only making phone calls (depending on age, etc. ).

2. Always have accountability--when a child is online. A parent or a sibling watch them online and limit the time they are on. However, this doesn't cover time they are away from home and can get online anywhere such as using a friend's phone.

3. Parental Locks and filters - many parents like to layer their filters, have devices that can lock down their phones and social media (like Circle), and keep passwords to accounts check on children. Not even all of this can be foolproof either.

4. Limiting screen time - parents designate screen-free times throughout the day

You are their parents and you DO have a say over what they can do and what they can not.

I have been reading this book lately since we do have smartphones and devices in our home:

And even though this book is directed towards teens, I feel strongly that it is parents that really need to read this book. It is sobering and eye opening to see what is happening behind the scenes and the dark side of technology that can so easily enter into our children's lives in a blink of an eye.

Important note-that while this book title is directed towards teens, it covers many sensitive topics such as sexting and pornography so I would highly recommend parents to read this for themselves first and then decide if they want to let their teen read it. There is much here that is useful for the parent and can be used as a guide for your children without them having to read the book and being exposed to the dark sin that is out there that they might not already know about. It is practical in that it uses Scripture and provides helpful action steps that can be taken immediately throughout the chapters. 

The book is also helpful in sharing how many apps work (so helpful when you don't have time to learn about them), how teens are making fake accounts, privacy settings, and mistakes to avoid with your teens.

Here is a peek of some of the chapters it covers:

I feel this book is a good starting place to especially get  parents thinking deeply about how they want to guide their children wisely through social media and the use of devices.

You can find this helpful book HERE.

Remember that you are not alone in your desire to protect your children. Ask the Lord for wisdom and He will give it to you-- and know that we are praying for you!

I hope you find this book helpful as you guide your children to wisely navigate the internet!

What have you found helpful in protecting your family?

Please share them in the comments to help others!

Note: This post contains affiliate links, you can read our disclosure policy here. 

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