It is very clear that technology is not going to go away. Children and teenagers growing up now need parents to both protect and direct them in the Godly use of technology. The fact is they will be using technology daily as adults and the principles that they learn now will help them live Godly while using technology. Here are a few suggestions.
- Use a family policy.
Every family with teens should have a carefully thought through and written set of guidelines regarding the use of technology. As with any guidelines, what is not inspected should not be expected. Be sure that you establish adequate accountability such as parents should have open access to all devices and accounts. By the way, open accountability ought be modeled by mom and dad. Teens ought to see that their parents are practicing what they preach.
- Use your computer’s existing features.
Both Apple and Windows come with parental controls as a feature. You can set up allowed apps, sites people and time limits. Here are instructions for Mac and Windows. If you have Android devices, you can use an app called Kids Place. Apple devices have a built-in feature called restrictions.
- Use an internet filter.
While parental controls limit access, filters filter content. There are two that I have discovered to be great options— Covenant Eyes and Safe Eyes. Each are full service filters. Each come with a monthly cost (which are cheaper than lifetime scars). I would encourage you to take the time and research a filter that is best for you and your family’s devices.
- Develop the heart.
One man said in relation to the internet, “The best filter is the heart.” While parental controls and filters will make it harder to stumble on or intentionally view junk on the internet, the heart is what determines to do right or wrong. If a man, woman or teen has a heart for God and righteous living, they will not seek out the dark side of the internet. No filter is completely fail proof, but coupling a right heart and a good filter will insure internet safety.
Proverbs 4:20-27 My son, attend to my words;
Incline thine ear unto my sayings.
21 Let them not depart from thine eyes;
Keep them in the midst of thine heart.
22 For they are life unto those that find them,
And health to all their flesh.
23 Keep thy heart with all diligence;
For out of it are the issues of life.
24 Put away from thee a froward mouth,
And perverse lips put far from thee.
25 Let thine eyes look right on,
And let thine eyelids look straight before thee.
26 Ponder the path of thy feet,
And let all thy ways be established.
27 Turn not to the right hand nor to the left:
Remove thy foot from evil.