Practical Applications for Kids, Teens & media use
The following are some practical ideas from Pastor Dave related to I-90’s August 28, 2016 message titled “Kids, Teens & a Media-Driven Culture” regarding how parents can help their kids successfully navigate today’s media and technology-consumed world:
With regards to safeguarding our kids’ minds and hearts:
· Determine and intentionally communicate content boundaries with your kids when it comes to media consumption (i.e. what they are allowed to watch and listen to, and what is off limits).
· Converse with your kids often about both the benefits and potential dangers of social media, always reminding them of where their true value lies as human beings.
· Make it a family rule that in order to use a media device of any kind it must be done out in the open where anyone can see what’s being viewed, typed, etc.
· Don’t allow your kids to keep media devices of any kind (phones, tablets, laptops, TV’s, etc) alone with them in their bedrooms overnight.
· When you do let your kids engage in media, do as much of it as you can together (whether watching movies, gaming, etc). Talk about what you’re watching, listening to and interacting with, always being as engaged as possible.
With regards to helping our kids be engaged in what matters most in life:
· Make your kids buy their own devices rather than buying them for them, teaching them the value of hard work and responsibility rather than re-enforcing a sense of entitlement in their lives.
· Don’t allow media usage to be a “right” but rather a privilege. For e.g., have them earn their media time each day by first accomplishing certain tasks determined by you as the parent (a chore list, homework, reading their Bible, etc)
· Teach your kids how to utilize media for those things that truly do matter most (i.e. apps/sites that will help them grow in their faith, improve in their studies, learn new skills, make money, etc).
· Make attending church and eating meals together as a family two of the highest priorities on your family calendar (not just over media consumption, but anything else that would hinder your time together as a family and growing in faith – remember, whatever you spend your time doing communicates to your children what’s most important).
Above all, parents must make growing a relationship with their children the highest of priorities (never forget the adage “rules without relationship lead to rebellion”), as well making sure they’re setting the right example for their kids when it comes to their own media usage and consumption.