living on pb & j

Ordinary moms living on Prayer, the Bible, and Jesus!

Technology and Teens 101

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My thoughts today have been turned to moms, who like me, are new in the parenting class of “Technology and Teens 101.”  We began our class very restrictive concerning the tools of the day that are so amazing and yet, so scary at the same time. The easiest parental routes to take are either to ban all use of electronics or to be totally permissive and “trust” the child to his own heart. Proverbs 29:15 tells us that children will cause us moms shame if we leave children to themselves.  My husband and I are learning as we go that the best way to take is much more challenging than the extreme routes mentioned above. Yes, we want our children to use the amazing tools we are blessed with today, yet we want them protected from harm, defilement, and regret.  Here are a few lessons that I’m reviewing in my heart!

  • Receive God’s wisdom. Pray God will bring you and your husband to an agreement of a working plan for your family. We are still learning ourselves and growing in this area as parents.  Pray for your children.  Pray that God will keep them from sin and place a hedge of protection around them.
  • Research. There are many internet safety resources available by way of research. I basically taught myself what I know about computers, therefore, my children are most likely going to know more about technology than I ever will. {I still prefer a keyboard over texting, but maybe that’s because I like to use all my piano fingers, not because I’m old!} This research requires time-consuming, quick learning about different new tools that pop up. In short… it’s work! It also costs!
  • Realize that sometimes set guidelines will need to be tweaked along the way. Every child is different, and technology is constantly improved.
  • Reason with your child. By this, I do not mean to argue though there may be respectful disagreement expressed. Simply explain your concerns and what you feel God has led you as parents to set in order for their good. Talk about possible future regrets or safety scenarios.
  • Rant, I must. With two children in college, three teenagers, and younger children, I have delved into the midst of social media. I am greatly concerned with what I find deemed acceptable. Loose language (verbal and bodily) is “cool,” yet so degrading. Teens should not feel they must “slang-up” or “gang-up” to be accepted. If they only knew how valuable they are to God without all the effort.  Are we teaching our children that Almighty God, the Creator of the world, fashioned them just as He chose? Psalm 139:14 says, ” I will praise thee; for I am  fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”  On the other hand, do we know what our children are seeking and saying? I Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”
  • Relish the opportunity to teach Biblical lessons when the need arises. Yes, your heart may sink if your child acts immaturely with the certain liberty given, but don’t dwell there. View it as a chance to teach them God’s way, deal with it, and go on loving them.  God gave parents to children to help guide them. We all get off track sometimes. Thank God for His new mercies every morning.  And maybe God gave children to parents to keep us humble. =)
  • Remember grace. I once was a teenager. Fun and friendship were high priority to me then without technology. Having technology tools does not change a natural teenage desire for fun and friendship, but causes us to be alert as parents .   No doubt, I acted immaturely with friends as a teen, and failed in my Christian walk at times. Where would I be without the grace of God in my life? I need to be gracious in my parenting.
  • Remind your child consistently that our greatest concern should be, “Am I pleasing the Lord with my actions?” Yes, we want them to please us as parents, but ultimately, we want them to come to the place that they make wise decisions based on what God would have them do.
  • Relationship with God is the key to any issue. I’ve heard the quote “The heart of the matter is a matter of the heart.”  A heart who does not know God or who is away from God will not understand or want to comply with boundaries. There may be some trying moments, but rest in the fact that God is working. Only God can change one’s heart. Sometimes, it’s ours He changes while we are waiting on our child’s heart to change.
  • Rewarding it is to use technology with your children! It provides easy ways to communicate with them!  It is such a blessing to be able to send children messages and pictures at the click of a button. It is a great tool for encouragement.  “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.”  -Psalm 19:14

If you don’t have teens and technology yet, start preparing for class now!  
Man Holding Cell Phone Camera

Blessings,

Jeri Lynn

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