Parenting can be a tough job, especially given today’s climate. Some days it’s a battle to find matching shoes, make lunches, get them dressed, and make sure they brush their teeth.
We head out the door and face the snarl of traffic, only to find ourselves sitting next to someone who is experiencing difficulties of their own.
But parenting involves a new element most of us were not exposed to as kids – the smartphone.
As a kid, my biggest challenge was avoiding the punishment that kept me inside the boredom shell. We didn’t have immediate access to the world around us twenty-four-seven, and our world was right outside the front door. We rarely ventured outside the perimeter of our block – I didn’t anyway.
With immediate and convenient access to everything the world offers, we must remember that not everything is beneficial for our kids. While the smartphone is positive in many ways, it can also bring negative things and evil people into our little ones’ lives.
The exposure is not always positive.
Our little ones are now exposed to sexual predators pretending to be 15, access to pornography, foul language, inappropriate pictures, tik tok videos, and sick humor. It comes with violent games and evil beyond anything we could have imagined – all trying to take its rightful place in our child’s world.
Yes, things were different then.
When I was a kid, we didn’t worry about locking our doors. We played outside from morning till night. We didn’t worry about riding our bikes down to the local 7-11. My brothers and I stayed gone all day with friends. These days, however, we are hard-pressed to let our children go outside by themselves. What has happened to society?
Human trafficking is the latest threat.
Now we are hearing reports of human trafficking. Evil people are trolling neighborhoods looking for young children to steal. It’s a sad day in a child’s life when they cannot go outside and enjoy nature, neighborhood friends, and a dirty mud puddle.
Safety inside the home
Someone once said, “We spend all our time making sure we have secured our family inside our home. We lock our doors and windows, and we have tracked down their movements, making sure they are always safe. As parents, we even interrogate their friends. Spending family time in the same room is more important now.”
But we’re missing something significant.
We have failed to protect our children from the immediate threat that beckons their attention every single day – the internet. While we sit in our living rooms each night watching television together, our kids are being invaded by the evil that seeks to destroy them. We get lazy in checking their phones. We get lazy in checking the text messages, Instagram, the photos, the websites they visit, and the ones that visit them. Have we done our due diligence in making sure they are safe?
Living under a false safety
Here we think we have protected them by locking all the doors and windows, and here they sit with the world in their hands.
I’m not against technology and smartphones, but as parents, we need to scan their devices better. You should surprise them and check their phones in the middle of a television show. Check their phones in the middle of text conversations. Review those phone numbers and Instagram photos. Lord, help you if they have Snapchat. We need to check out their real user names on Kik, Snapchat, Instagram, and other instant messaging sites.
I got news for you – some kids make fake names, so you can’t find them. Mom and dad scan their account under their birth names, and they appear innocent, all the while they are deceiving the parents. That’s for another blog post because I have plenty to say about that subject after being around children and youth for years and witnessing the parental heartbreaks as a result.
Why do we have to be so diligent?
Because we live in a world where the enemy prowls around seeking to destroy the youth of America. If he can get enough youth to believe his lies, then he can get more people following him and fewer people following Jesus. That is the enemy’s ultimate goal. Judging from society today, it looks like the enemy is winning many of our youth over. Folks, we can change this.
It doesn’t have to be this way
1 Peter 5:8 “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
As parents, we have a critical job to do. We need to protect our kids from the evil that lurks around every street corner, neighborhood, and internet website in America today. We need to look at their smartphone more frequently.
Today and every day, ask God to keep His hedge of protection around you and your family. Take steps to protect your kids from harmful websites and video games.
Will my child be mad at me?
Will they get mad at you for checking their smartphone? Of course, they will, but you should care more about what you protect them from than what they think about you. In the long run, you may save them and you from heartbreak.
In His Service,
The Teaching Lady