While most children nowadays have more knowledge of technology by the age of 3 than many of us had at the age of 13, it’s time for us to get honest about the fact that technology is going to be a part of our children’s lives for the rest of their lives.
As parents, we can choose to:
- Ignore it and act like it doesn’t have any real influence in the lives of our kids.
- Embrace it as well as all the pros and cons that come with it.
- Or find some middle ground in between the two.
We as Christian parents are at a very important crossroads where we have to make some crucial decisions for our children, one of which is this – “Am I going to treat technology like it’s simply out of my control or am I going to be intentional and proactive about teaching my children how to use it properly?” If it’s truly not going anywhere, we’re going to be forced to make that choice, whether we want to or not.
Sadly, America is raising a generation of young people who in a sense are an “experiment” of technology. No generation prior has ever had the access to as much technology and its unknown long-term effects like our children’s.
I’m certainly not one to argue the virtues of modern technology, but I do believe that the Internet and technology is not more bad than it is good. It’s neutral. We understand that it has the power to be a great force for evil, but it equally has the power to be a wonderful force for good and the Gospel.
If we can train our children how to use it properly, we can set them up to effectively change the world and be that much more influential for the kingdom of God! On the flip side…
“If we fail to train our kids how to use technology properly, we are in essence handing them a loaded gun without giving them any safety training and guidance.”
A few months ago, my 12 year old son took a two day gun safety training course. Two full days of specific hands on training to be fully prepared and safe when it comes to handling a gun.
Most of America’s children are holding something far more dangerous than even a gun in their hand everyday. They’re spending hours on it unsupervised, and they’ve probably had less than two hours of “safety training”, if any at all. And unfortunately, very few people seem concerned, because most of them don’t give much thought to exactly what it is that they’re putting into their child’s hands.
Like a loaded gun, what does “safety training” look like when a young person is handed an internet-connected device (smartphone, tablet, laptop, etc)? Do we even think about safeties for these types of things?
Think about this… With the technology of Siri and voice command, at just the touch of a button, you can now ask to know and see virtually anything you want almost immediately… Wow! That’s powerful. And don’t think for a moment that our kids don’t know it.