We’re living in a brand new time. No, I’m not going to start a rant on technology, because I use it every day and am probably on the internet as much as my grandchildren. It’s a magnificent tool. With technology, we have access to the world of information. We do actually learn with these devices. We can find quotes, Bible verses, images and tons of other media which will serve our purposes.
However, as with anything good, there’s also a bad side to it. The evil that our children are exposed to is frightening. “How to hang yourself – how to decapitate someone – taking your parent’s drugs and experimenting with them.”
There’s the more prominent threat and danger of cyber bullying. Kids feel they can say something bad about someone because they aren’t face to face. They have no idea how their comments are being received, or how the recipient will respond. Hateful words – mean and ugly thoughts – lack of conversational and communication skills – little physical exercise – video game overload. These are the things parents are facing today.
I have seen little ones who haven’t yet learned to walk, looking at a screen and playing a game to entertain themselves. Sure it may easier parenting to give a child this kind of toy to keep him occupied, but are parents monitoring their activity?
Recently we heard of a young man we know, who overloaded on video games. He was on the computer all night, had a seizure and passed out. He had not left the screen for hours so he was dehydrated as well.
I’ve heard of hurtful, hate filled words spewed on text messages. There’s interest in pornography, suicide, how to relieve anxiety. So much information. So much bad information.
This will sound a bit corny, but I’m going to say it anyway. Kids are OVERLOADED today. They must excel in school so they can earn scholarships. They are involved in band, theater, music, dance, sports and so much more. Teen brains are still developing and it’s difficult for the growing brain to take everything in at once.
We can start early, by getting kids outdoors and playing. Like the cartoon above, many don’t even know how to play. Board games are still good for challenging the memory and anything that brings about face to face communication. Scavenger hunts, geocaching, camping, anything outdoors is going to bring them to God’s beautiful creation and open the door for lots of knowledge.
Kids also need to know they’re loved by their parents. Often parents become so involved in their own lives – planning for the future – developing a career – that kids are carted to various activities or set in front of a screen to keep them busy. They really need parents who are involved with them and genuinely care for them.
I’m sure there are ways to block certain things from your child’s eyes. One way is to limit the amount of screen time. Also don’t allow devices in the bedroom. Your kids need to sleep.
I’m very fortunate that I made it through the parenting process. I thought things were bad in the 70s and 80s. I worried about my daughters getting too involved with a boy. I fretted worried my son might try drugs or alcohol. We can drive ourselves into the ground with worry, but none of that is going to make anything better.
When we ask for God’s guidance, we aren’t guaranteed a perfect child. God is there for us when we go through the difficult times, but sometimes our children have lessons that can only be learned through experience. I pray for those raising kids in this century, but I’m also confident that God is in control – even in our parenting.