The world of technology has taken many parents by surprise as children have become savvier and technology has become more sophisticated.
Parents are finding themselves blindsided when it comes to addressing and confronting tough issues in their children’s lives. Sexually saturated images are filling children’s minds through video games, cell phones and computer websites. These images are bombarding our children and are coming into their lives as fast as the speed of light. There are more than 244 million websites, and child pornography is a $13-15 billion business. Teenage girls are now becoming the fastest growing segment of pornography users. Cyber-bullying, texting, and on-line predators are all a part of the real dangers in a child and teenager’s world.
Parents who are caught off guard feel that way because this pornographic problem enters their home from under the radar; television, internet, social networking and emails. Parents are at war and they don’t even know it.
Other challenges for parents are iPhones, iPods, chat rooms, instant messaging, and community network sites like Facebook and Twitter, all of which are creating a generation of anti-social, anti-personal teenagers, who have deeper conversations with complete strangers than with their own family members.
Twelve or 15 years ago, when couples were enthusiastically planning to raise children, they were not prepared or aware of what they would be facing in the future regarding tough issues like technology, pornography, and providing a safe and secure world for their children to live in.
Broken homes and broken lives are the collateral damage of parents not being prepared and feeling like they have been blindsided by such tough issues. The Bible reminds us in 1 Peter 5:8 with a very strong rebuke, to be sober and alert because the Devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. It’s important that parents are not taken by surprise by being aware of the enemy and not being attacked.
Technology itself is not the danger. It’s how the Devil can use technology to devour a child’s innocence.
The good News is that children still view their parents as the most reliable source of trustworthy information. Thus, parents need to be “sober and alert,” which means being educated and informed.
Parents should educate themselves about what’s going on in their child’s technological world. You know the old saying, “Knowledge is Power.” Parents who are aware of technological advances are better equipped to teach their children about the benefits and the dangers of today’s technology.
Keeping tabs on what’s coming into and going out of young people’s lives is not intruding on their privacy; it’s just good parenting.
PROTECT YOUR CHILD
If you are a parent, you must try to protect your child from what can come into his or her technological world. Parents may live in gated communities, install home security, or lock their doors at night, but they don’t always see the importance of putting protective measures in place on their technology, including computers and cell phones. By investing in protective software to help you monitor your child’s phone and computer activity, you will feel confident that you are being “sober and alert” from the enemy’s schemes to destroy your child and your home. Partnering with your child means monitoring their activity as if you are sitting right beside them.
I highly recommend a new downloadable software called “Accountability Tools” to help you monitor your child’s computer and cell phone activity. What makes this new software so helpful is that it will send you regular emails with all of your child’s internet activities, snapshots of all of the web pages they have visited, all search words that they enter, live on-line support, and parenting recourses. This is a great way to educate yourself and to protect your children by partnering with them. To receive the software, simply go to www.accountabilitytools.com and download it onto your computer.
Parents, you don’t need to be blindsided. When you take these important steps to protect your child and your home, you will be keeping your family safe for a lifetime.
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Brody Howell is a speaker for The Center for Biblical Sexuality and is available to present the “Let’s Chat Parenting Seminar” for churches, parents and families. Contact Brody at [email protected].