“No parent would ever put his child into the driver’s seat of a car without first teaching him how to drive,” writes Tim Challies, “Yet far too many parents are sending their children into an increasingly digital reality without proper training, without biblical instruction. If we want them to use it for God’s glory, we need to be willing to teach and train them.”
Tim gives 7 steps to consider when introducing new media and technology to our families. I will simply list them here with little comment. Read the book yourself.
- Educate – First, educate yourself. Take time to think and discern. Yesterday, I gave you a bunch of valuable highlights from my own reading of the book, The Next Story: Life and Faith after the Digital Explosion. Make a deal with yourself. If you plan to buy your child a digital device for Christmas this year then commit to preparing yourself to train him or her in wisdom. If your older children already live in the digital world then gift this book to them (I bought my copy and another for one of my sons when we attended a conference together last spring).
- Fence – Put boundaries around the time your children dedicate to their devices.
- Mentor – As you train your children, watch, instruct, and explain.
- Supervise – Don’t give your children full, unlimited access online. No computers in the privacy of their bedrooms, either.
- Review – Ask your child about his or her online activity. Invest in reporting software.
- Trust – As your children mature, express greater trust and confidence in them.
- Model – Be an example of restraint, integrity, and ownership of your devices. Ask yourself, “Do I own my devices or do they own me?”