Parenting in the digital age is not for the faint of heart and thats why we wanted to create a space with digital safety resources for parents. This will not be all inclusive but it will definitely give you a great space to start your research. This is vital in the world we live in today. I am sure some of these things will be out dated very quickly and will require you to be vigilant on your end. It is worth it, your children are worth it!
A couple of our go to spaces for parent help in this area are Protect Young Eyes and Defend Young Minds. These two resources have been invaluable to our family. Education for both you and your children are extremely important. Understanding the dangers is the first step. Remember no filter will ever replace a wise and loving parent who is involved and knowledgeable.
Our children are growing up in world that is fighting for their attention and unfortunately not in a good way. With the availability of smart phones they have everything you can imagine good or bad at the tips of their fingers. Delaying phones for children as long as possible is our suggestion. Here is a great article by one of our favorite authors on this subject, Tony Reinke. They are happier, healthier and learn to build real face to face relationships. When you feel it becomes a need, we would suggest doing all your research first. PYE has a great post on this very thing to help you make the wisest decision on which phones at what ages. Always remember, you are the parent and if you feel the need to make changes in the way you have handled this so far, do it. Explain to your children the why and that you love them and ultimately want what’s best for them.
Every device we own has potential to allow evil to enter our home and we should know how to use and secure each of them. We have had to make hard decisions and throw some of ours out because we couldn’t protect our children from what was getting in. PYE (this link takes you directly to them) has many articles on how to set up parental controls on every type of device you may own. This article walks you through APP controls. We also have the Gryphon Router in our home, PYE says this is the most important digital device you’ll have in your home.
Saying No to Porn
The dangers of porn is alarming and the industry is fighting to enslave your children. Teaching your children to reject porn at an early age is vital. PYE has this article on how to block porn on any device for free. Bark is a paid service that monitors text, social media, apps and web searches. Covenant Eyes is the next step from Bark in an effort to teach teens how to monitor their own behavior through accountability. Canopy scans websites in real time and instantly blocks all pornographic sites, even if they are brand new. Canopy is the only app that can filter out inappropriate images and videos on sites without having to block the entire site. You also have the option to filter out suggestive content containing partial nudity, like a revealing swimsuit photo. It also has sexting prevention.
Building Strong Relationships
Building strong relationships with your children is vitally important to having deep conversations. This article is a great resource for making some moments memorable and special with your kids. If you would like more information on how to disciple you children you can see a previous post here with valuable resources.
This topic is very overwhelming. There is so much to learn and be proactive about. We highly recommend keeping all electronics in the main living spaces. No electronics in the bedrooms or bathrooms. Setting this example builds trust. We have a charging station in our bedroom where all phones and tablets are charged over night. We also use parental controls to shut everything down before devotion in the evening and they don’t wake back up until the next day. For further study on this topic I would also recommend researching screen time and mental health, this is a good place to start. Also if your child has been exposed to some of these harms already here is an article to help heal.