Ep 23: Parenting in the Age of Internet, Social Media, and Cell Phones
I had no idea 10 years ago, when I bought my oldest daughter a cell phone and laptop, that technology and everything that comes with it would absolutely dominate our lives. Today we’re talking all about parenting in the age of the internet, social media, and cell phones.
If you have kids of any age still in your home this is a discussion you cannot avoid.
Mistakes I’ve Made:
- Giving my kids technology too early and expecting them to handle it.
- Believing that filters would keep out inappropriate content.
- Not understanding everything a device can do before giving it to my child (giving my child a talk and text phone, not knowing it had an internet browser).
What I Know for Sure:
- The Internet is here to stay. If we don’t figure out how to navigate it with our children, it will simply run right over us and take our kids with it.
- Technology is advancing at warp speed, which renders most of our limits and restrictions obsolete in a very short time. We must keep up.
- Even if we decide on certain age limits and restrictions for our home, technology may override our decisions.
- Kids socialize on the Internet with their real-life friends. Kids (and parents) who don’t participate can feel isolated and left out.
- Even if your at-home boundaries are working well, kids have friends with different boundaries.
- The best Internet filters won’t catch everything.
- Even if your kids are engaging in appropriate internet activity, the bad things can still find them.
- Satan hates your kids and wants to destroy your family. He will use the Internet to do that because it’s a breeding ground for that type of thing.
What I Do Not Like About Talk and Text Phones for Kids:
- Group texts are impossible.
- The Camera is crap.
- It’s impossible to monitor anything remotely.
- They still have an internet browser, which can only be disabled by turning off the data.
- No “find my friends” in case of an emergency.
- No parental controls
My Rules Today:
No smartphone until age 16 (though this may change…see above for all the reasons I hate talk and text phones for kids)
Only a filtered internet browser allowed when I decide the child is mature enough to handle internet on the phone.
Downloading apps only allowed with my prior approval.
No social media until high school (this will not change and may actually change to age 16 for my youngest)
Must sign a phone contract (with all the detailed rules explained) and listen to a LONG speech before receiving the device. (more on this in EP 24)
Must charge phone in main area of house until age 18.
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Parental Internet Filters and Remote Text Monitoring
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