Where to Draw the Line: Kids and Media

kids

Ohh to travel back in time to the days before the World Wide Web and Social Media! I was in high school when computers were making their début and I can honestly say no one could foresee the depths nor the implications technology would have in life today nor the battles we as parents would endure. We have a pandemic in our world exposing/infecting our children in ways we can’t even imagine. There is not medicine to cure this disease nor a way to hide from it. The only viable antidote, preparing our children at home making them aware of the dangers and teaching them to combat the enemy before the enemy teaches them differently.

We live in a world that says, “What they don’t know won’t hurt them!” This is the lie of all lies! What we as parents don’t know can and will hurt our children in ways we never thought possible. I’ve heard countless stories of kids, parents and young adults say, “If someone would have told me this was wrong” or “Everybody does it, how is it wrong?” and even, “I had no idea.”

Satan loves to tell us that our children aren’t ready or mature enough to handle certain topics, while true in some instances, there are many ways to approach topics without revealing too much information. We do a major disservice when we send our children out unaware of the risks in the digital realm. Most children exposed by their friends or peers whether in their home or on a bus. When exposed, many will not necessarily go home and tell their parents, because they don’t recognize it as anything harmful to them. They become infected by their peers when told, “Everyone does it” or “It’s no big deal.” This virus is not just among our tweens, teens and young adults but it is even infecting our little ones as young as 8. It’s present everywhere even in places you wouldn’t think. Our children cannot hide from it and neither should we.

Several years ago, my son who was 10, had a friend over who brought a wrestling magazine into our home. When I asked to see it, his friend insisted on putting it in his bag instead. After my son’s friend left that evening, we had a talk about magazines and how some lure boys and men to look at women in a way that is not right without going into much detail. Two weeks later, he came home and told us the kind of magazines we spoke of came into the school and how all the boys were looking at them. He would have never known it was wrong to look at if we hadn’t opened that door of communication. We thank God for moving in our Spirit to have this conversation with him!

Another lesson we have learned is even though we don’t allow our children devices with internet access, it does not mean they aren’t using someone else’s phone, ipad, ipod etc, or watching over the shoulder. My children have come home many times telling us how they played on another’s tech and taken selfies on devices belonging to others that have full web access! They can become victims to bullying and more without even knowing until it’s too late!

We must become studious in what we don’t know about media so we can help them steer away from harm when not under our watch. Even with that being said, they will make mistakes along the way. Our youngest recently got in trouble for taking part in a texting war using potty talk with someone’s brother and then they proclaimed a selfie war. What is wrong with that? One it was not her device she was texting from and two they were modeling a behavior normalized among all of us without understanding or knowing the dangers. It become only a matter of time for the infection to spread and our innocent sons and daughters asked to send nude pictures of themselves or become bullies sending mean texts all at the cost of not knowing or understanding the repercussions because everyone is doing it.

Sexting is a big deal and claiming our tweens and teens. Parents we need know everything that can happen regarding this when it comes to law. In an article from KCTV5 News, the State of Kansas calls sexting the sexual exploitation of a child if you send it via computer or phone. It’s a felony and includes mandatory registration on the sex offender list and can carry a 3-10 year sentence! This will follow them their whole lives and be detrimental when it comes to finding work and how society will look and treat them! What becomes normal becomes less thought-provoking! The article says, “The photos have become almost as common as the notes that older generations passed in study halls. Most children have access to the technology. Smartphones, iPads, notebooks and webcams enable children to take sexually explicit images and share them without realizing that consequences once they hit send.” It also says, “And it’s not just limited to teens. Area police say they are seeing cases involving children as young as 7, 8 and 9 years old.” How sad this is for our children!

Read more: http://www.kctv5.com/story/21348812/sexting-can-turn-teens-into-registered-sex-offenders#ixzz3PxZCRvoD
Read more: http://erlc.com/article/the-snappening-is-happening-5-way-to-talk-to-your-teens-about-sexting

In Social Media, we can “check-in” at places letting everyone know where we are. As parents we also use it as a safety source to know our children are okay. However, it is very dangerous for all of us. Many homes robbed, children kidnapped and people killed all because we give our locations and travel plans. There are better ways to ensure safety for our children and families without posting for world to see. We must do the research and take the time needed being proactive for our families no matter what!

Read more: http://www.socialnomics.net/2014/03/04/the-shocking-truth-about-social-networking-crime/

One lie we as parents tend to believe is it’s too late to make a change or a difference, the damage is already done. That is Satan filling our heads with deception. It is never too late! We are going to receive fight back from our children whether we instill it early or take back control and do it later. Sweet mammas and dads, it is never too late to fight for the heart of your child, Never! We see it played out in the Old Testament where the Israelites turned from God, became oppressed and suffered for their choices. We see them call out to God every time and every time we see God come to their aid and rescue them. We are never too far gone that the power and hand of God can’t reach us. We are also never without need of our Savior. God is good all the time and all the time He is good!

So, how far is too far and when do we draw the line to our children’s exposure to media? We recently watched an episode of Leave it to Beaver and the wisdom we received from Ward Cleaver pivotal to this article! He said, “You can’t protect someone from all the bad in the world if you hide it from them.” If we are unwilling to prepare our children for all the bad waiting for them at the click of a button out of fear or a lie believed, then we can’t protect them from it. With God, prayer and each other we can teach them covert operations steering their walk with Christ in the world without becoming a part of it.

http://www.chicagonow.com/tween-us/
http://www.covenanteyes.com/
http://www.netnanny.com/

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