While Kids Ministry is now having Sunday morning activities at the church, we understand that there are some families who are not able to join us in-person. We want to stay connected to our families and continue discipling all our kids, regardless of whether they are here at The Heights or at home.
Each week, those of you joining us online can watch Kids Ministry live on our FACEBOOK PAGE Sundays at 9:30 AM. During this Livestream, kids will have the opportunity to worship and listen to Bible lessons from our wonderful staff and volunteers. We will also continue to have our Bible Review Activities and GodTime Devotionals posted to our blog as well as the church app.
As a parent, it can feel like walking through a minefield trying to navigate the digital world. Every day, your child is bombarded with digital content on the TV, computer/laptop, tablet, phone, etc. Below are some tips and tricks you can implement to help guide your children in using technology well.
- Stress the importance of never giving out personal information online. This includes his or her name, address, phone number, family names and relations, email address, passwords, and any other piece of information that can be used to identify the child. Protecting information helps secure many parts of your personal life.
- Walk them through what to do if they come across an inappropriate website or content. Be calm and collected when setting the rules for your child when internet browsing. This lets the child know that they can trust and come to you if they come across something that upsets or confuses them. Teach them to close the screen and come talk to you. You can then use the situation as a teaching moment.
- Have a web security system in place. You can limit the possibility of exposure to inappropriate content by setting up parental controls and filters on your computers, TVs, phones, and tablets. To limit what could pop up when they search something, switch on YouTube Restricted Mode and Google SafeSearch.
It is crucial to remember that children will copy what their parents do. Examine the amount of time and energy you spend online and make sure that it does not distract from the most important parts of your life: your relationship with God and your family. As followers of Jesus Christ, we need to live in a way that honors God and loves those around us. 1 Corinthians 6:12 says, “‘All things are lawful for me’, but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful for me’, but I will not be dominated by anything.’ “
Access is Limited
While technology is an integral part of your child’s life, it should not be all-consuming. Too much technology usage can lead to laziness, isolation, and passivity. To avoid your child getting into bad habits that will be hard to break, follow these tips.
- Be in the “Know”: Technology is ever-changing and evolving. As such, parents need to stay informed of what is out there (and popular) so they can know what is safe and what is not. Ask questions when your child talks about new technology, “Google It”, and communicate with other parents. Do your very best to learn all you can about the technology your child is exposed to and using.
- Limitations are key: By setting limits on your child’s daily screen time, you are helping establish order and balance while allowing you to monitor and offer guidance when needed. Decide how often you want technology to be used in your home and how you manage that time. Not only does this help them make decisions responsibly, but it also helps stimulate creativity and imagination when they are not immersed in the digital world.
- Implement a time during the week where there are no electronics. Pick a day that works best for your family and avoid technology use as much as possible. Spend this time reading Scripture together, singing worship songs, playing games, and simply spending precious time together.
God made humans to be social; we grow, develop, flourish, and thrive when we connect and interact with other people. However, we live in a digital age and technology IS a part of our lives. When used properly, technology is fun and engaging. The most important thing you want to teach your kids is how to use technology in a safe and healthy way, all the while developing in them the necessary habits that they will use for the rest of their lives. Proverbs 22:6: “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old, they will not turn from it.”
Great Websites for Online Safety and Technology Use:
- Common Sense Media – where you can find reviews on tv shows, movies, games, apps, and Web sites to see if they fit your child.
- ConnectSafely.org – an online forum and blog where parents and experts discuss anything and everything pertaining to Internet safety.
- StaySafeOnline.org – an online tool full of helpful articles, tip sheets, and resources to help
Great Books to Read:
- The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place by Andy Crouch
- Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne & Lisa M. Ross
This week think about how much time and energy your children, and you, spend on electronics. Once you have done that, set aside a time, if you haven’t already, where the whole family spends quality time together without any electronics. You can take a walk together, play a board game, or do a puzzle. Take this time to memorize and pray over this bible verse: “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” – Luke 12:34. Pray to our Heavenly Father to help you and your family keep your focus and your hearts on the kingdom of God.
If you have any specific needs or prayer requests, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at [email protected]
Published on Aug 23 @ 1:50 PM CDT