Our core philosophies of raising children…
prepare for independence and responsible living
teach and train godly living
teach life skills including managing use of technology and devices.
(abstinence isn’t really a viable option)
Here is my two cents worth.How to live in today’s world must be taught even as we may struggle to keep up. Training to manage the tech / electronic arena has to be intentional.
Recognize this is important to your child.
Kids do connect in person. They also connect via cells and social media even if we don’t like it! Heck, so do most of us.
Train them while under your umbrella.
Just in case you don’t remember, when kids walk out of the house without parents, they can do just about anything!
Partner making a management plan.
Regularly, talk and listen to each other about the rules and boundaries. Don’t just be the rule maker and enforcer. Discuss the why’s. Training is better done now. Later may be too late. Training is the key.
True story: A dad at church asked about our girls’ FB use. Their daughter wasn’t allowed to use Facebook. She figured a way around that with a secret one. Mom and Dad discovered it. Dad recognized this needed more careful consideration. Mom didn’t want her to have FB or any accounts including email. Clearly, that was not working. She is homeschooled with online classes. He asked what we did since girls were “friends”. Together, we setup their accounts. I monitor. They have to unfriend sometimes because the pictures or language used was not appropriate. We talk about it since appropriateness is not always obvious.
Trust your kids
Offer trust and teach about making choices. The girls have phones for safety, communication and our convenience. They also have emails, FB and other social media accounts. There is an added benefit of learning responsibility for their activities.
Phones are tools
The girls had cells by 6th grade when they had more activities we don’t attend for safety and to communicate with us. They know to call us if they were uncomfortable with anything or needed us! ANYTIME! When they are away from home; they have their phones even if they must turn it over when they come home.
Be your child’s “friend” on social media
You are your child’s protector, teacher and trainer. If you don’t, someone else will. Some of their “friends” are mine too! Talk about accountability!
Keep all the passwords
This is important. All their accounts have passwords. Remind them not to share passwords.
True story: A friend lost her FB privilege as a discipline so began to use one of the girls’ accounts. She knew the password. Doing so was a breach of trust. It was changed immediately when we caught on. Lesson learned.
Use the parent factor when an out is needed
After all, we are on their side. Often they know exactly when it is not a good situation.
Gosh, it is complicated to raise kids. I suspect it has always been that way. It is so important to give our kids a safe place to learn and even fail. Set firm boundaries with room to explore and grow.
Honestly, we just continue to parent in love and hopefully wisdom, learning too along the way.
What are ways you (and your family) are managing technology and media usage? Honestly, I would love to learn from you!
Here is a sampling of helpful links: