Why your child doesn’t need a smartphone

February 5, 2017 by  
Filed under newsletter-miscellaneous

The dangers outweigh the practicalities of entrusting a child with a device that many adults struggle to use safely and appropriately. Parental guidance is at risk of being trumped by the smartphone unless we put a foot down.

1. Our society is addicted to smartphones.

The hardest part of parenting is teaching our children things we have not yet mastered. Jesus said: “I am the bread that gives life. If you come to My table and eat, you will never go hungry. Believe in Me, and you will never go thirsty.” (John 6:35)

The only healthy addiction we are hardwired to foster is our relationship with God, through our walk with Christ. “I am,” present tense, is all we need. Yet a glance around a full room full of people looking down at a screen instead of each other illustrates the search for happiness elsewhere.

Scientific facts tell us the same chemical released when we partake in age-restricted activities like smoking, drinking alcohol, gambling, or drug use (not that I would advocate for any of those things) is also released when we use cell phones and social media.

Equipping our kids to live outside the confines of their wireless network allows them to participate in reality, and depend on the One in whom we truly find joy.

2. Parental controls can’t control everything online.

Kids are obsessed with bodily functions (at least mine are). Given access to Google, it’s not hard to guess what their curiosity will lead them to type into that blank box, and there’s little worse than fielding questions from a youngster about something their little eyes witnessed before ours.

“Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.” (Mark 10:14)

Jesus gave us a living, breathing example of how to treat children, and each other, when He welcomed all of us to be close to Him.

How can we guide our children through conversations and shield them from adult ones when we aren’t close enough to whisper in their ear? Remember, it’s impossible to go back and block something that’s already been seen.

3. Your child may be in danger.

Technology can be used for evil. In fact, it is used for evil all the time. As parents, we must face a hard reality that the person on the other end of a message might be another innocent 12-year-old… or it could be a child predator.

When you give your child a smartphone (or any other device that can download apps), you are putting your child at risk. In a technology-driven world, it is unrealistic to think that your child will never use a smartphone. So start teaching your child how to use technology safely before the cell phone is in her hands.

4. You might not be aware of what they are posting.

Did you know there is an app that allows uses to post their darkest secrets online anonymously? (It’s called Whisper.) What about an app that sends texts and photos without being seen in the phone history? (That is the Kik app.) Finally, have you heard of Poof? That app can hide the icons for other apps that your child might not want you to see.

– cross walk

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