Friday, May 6, 2011

The dangers of the internet and cell phones

I talked in my post yesterday about an internet "situation" that we recently had. I want to dig deeper with that. 

I think there are many things that we can do to keep our kids (and ourselves!) safe on the internet. If your kids are using the computer, you must safeguard it. Google has a safe search feature that you should keep on. We have had Norton Internet Security, which adds another layer of protection. You don't want them to search on something for school and instead get a eyeful of something inappropriate. 

Another major issue is Facebook and texting. This is where the lines can get blurry and if we are not extremely careful, things can get really dangerous. If you choose to allow your child to have a fb page, you should be their friend and have their password. We repeatedly tell our children that anything that goes on with the computer or phone is not private. We have access and will check up regularly. That is not to trick them. It's to help them stay accountable and not slip into sin. 

We don't allow our girls (right now only our oldest) to have private messaging of any kind with boys. Not because we are mean or don't think she notices boys. We have this layer of protection for her (and all of them one day) so that we can help her (and the boys) stay clear of sin. Private messaging, chatting or texting the opposite sex can lead to temptations that young teens are not ready to deal with. You wouldn't BELIEVE what goes on through texting and chatting on fb. Things can get out of hand very quickly. 

You also have to monitor who they are "friending." It's very common for them to friend people they don't know. It can be very innocent. A friend of theirs knows the person, so they friend them. Or they meet them once and friend them. Once they have friended the person, that person has access to everything on their page. They will quickly find out a lot of information about your child. 

We also have limits on texting and fb. There is no texting at home. Again, not because we are meanies. But because texting constantly takes away face time with your family. This is true for adults as well. So when she is at home, the phone is in the kitchen. We have limits on fb as well. In general, we keep an eye on how long she's been on it and try to help her not let it become addictive. 

The thing about all of this, is that it is a lot of work for the parents. It can be quite time consuming. So you have got to take that into consideration when making the decision to allow fb or a cell phone. You can't simply hand them these communication options and never check in. 

We are living in unprecedented times. Our children are being targeted and attacked by Satan in ways that we never were. And we need to be prepared and ready for battle. Communication with our kids is absolutely the key to keeping them safe. And if something slips by, as it did in our case this week, face it head on. Don't get angry. Be thankful that God brought it to light sooner rather than later. And use it as a teaching opportunity for you and your children. 

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