Will Our Children Know How to be Still? {Speaking Truth: Part 2}

There is a wide world we live in that is prepared to deliver its spin on truth to our kids. They are bombarded by a culture that does not value God’s version of right and good, but is anxious to sell its own – and its king of lies is anxious to steal our truth.

“Our courts oppose the righteous and justice is nowhere to be found. Truth stumbles in the streets, and honesty has been outlawed. Yes, truth is gone and anyone who renounces evil is attacked.” Isaiah 59:14-15 NLT

Kids are plugged into technology at home, at school, and at play. They are growing up in a society which receives and sends information in ways and speeds that we didn’t even fathom when we were growing up.

Will our children know what it means to be still in a world that isn’t?

Technology2

Here are four practical (seasoned with spiritual) ways we can equip our children to not only handle the information that is set before their eyes, but to hold it in proper esteem:

1.  SET BOUNDARIES:

You don’t let them wander around the neighborhood unsupervised – don’t let them wander the cyber-world either.

Utilize parental filters or family safety apps. (MamaBear, AVG Family Safety, Life360). Better yet, be a parental filter. Put the computer in the kitchen, set time-limitations, or create a technology dead zone in your home (no devices at the dinner table, family room, etc.).

Enable restrictions. This is an Apple feature that allows you to set a passcode and then disable features on your [kids] devices, as well as set age and viewing restriction on games, apps, web content.

Consider random spot checks. Have your kids hand over technology at your command and you can browse history, read texts, and review e-mail. This isn’t about invading privacy, but protecting your investment – namely, your children.

Know passwords for all your children’s devices. For that matter, you and your spouse should know one another’s too. Don’t model keeping secrets – if we have nothing to hide, then open access shouldn’t be a problem.

2.  UNPLUG ALL TOGETHER:

I’m almost certain the sound of an incoming text sends our kids moving faster than the sound of the smoke detector going off. The world won’t stop when we unplug – there is life in us yet!

Engage in a technology fast as a family. Turn everything off, pull out some board games, and have some face to face family time. Try this: unplug your wi-fi router and watch the family flood to your feet.

I’m as guilty as the next gal of making my phone an appendage – but if we will disengage from our devices so will our kids. This isn’t about punishment, but balance. We can teach our children early that there is a cost associated with their time and they need to be wise how they spend it.

More so, we can cultivate in them the desire to spend time with the Lord first – to be still and know God – then everything else will fall into its rightful place. Including screen time.

3.  “P” IS FOR PRIVACY:

When we post/tweet/comment, we are publicizing our thoughts and inviting people into our lives. It’s like opening our front window and inviting the whole world to peak in. We [meaning us and our kids] now have a captive audience.

If you’ve learned this lesson the hard way, it’s a great one to pass on to your kidsnot everyone we invite into our lives enters with grace. With access to our words and not our hearts, people will jump to conclusions, presume to know our intentions, or use our “friendship” as an open invitation to offer their opinion about everything we do.

On the flip side – we need to consider that not everyone finds what we have to say helpful or necessary. We [again, us and our kids] need to be cautious and wise about our motives in our cyber friendships – we are creating online reputations.

“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble thinking of others as better than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3

Think before you post. Be considerate of your audience. Kindness counts.

Let’s model for our kids that being a person of character and integrity does not get dumped at the keyboard and screen. And some things are better left unsaid.

4. FRIEND OR FOE:

You’ve monitored social media, limited screen time, and know the pinpoint location of your child 24/7. Then on Friday at the lunch tables, Jimmy from down the street decides to pull out his phone and Google Miss. September.

You can do an incredible job with your own kids, but you can’t monitor everyone else’s. Be pro-active. Inform your kids of the dangers and temptations they will be faced with online, and in life – even those that come from seemingly friendly sources.

Ignorance is not bliss. Innocence can be lost with one simple Google search.

Pornography, graphic websites, YouTube videos – many of these can be accidental pop-ups or the result of a simple typo in a search term. If and when our kids are exposed to these, shame and fear of punishment can keep them from seeking our help. Open communication means they know that there is grace in their missteps and we are a safe haven.

Then we direct them back to God’s truth. When they learn early that their first line of defense is truth – the path to confession, forgiveness, and grace is so much easier to follow – now and in the future.

“We faithfully preach the truth…we use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense.” 2 Corinthians 2:6-7 NLT


It’s so tempting to want to lock our kids away from the dangers of this world – to isolate and protect them. But if our ultimate goal is for them to depend less on us and more on Christ, then the proper response is to equip them to run their own race.

We point them towards God and we pray they keep running His direction.

God gives us kids and counts us worthy to raise them up – and we can give thanks that He doesn’t ask us to go it alone. We have Him and we have each other.

The next time you see a mom, head in hand, wondering what will come of the children that test the limits of her heart – take the seat next to her, lean in close, and whisper these words that I speak to you today…“Rest in grace, trust the Lord, and breathe – you are doing great.”


Why We Must Speak Truth Into Our Children’s Lives {Part 1}

Linking up with the beautiful blogging communities and the friends of my heart, Holly Barrett, Kelly Balarie, Holley GerthKristin Hill Taylor, and Jennifer Dukes Lee.

Photo Credit (Text/Image Overlays by Tiffany Parry)

38 thoughts on “Will Our Children Know How to be Still? {Speaking Truth: Part 2}

  1. It is way too easy these days for us parents to allow our kids to play on their technology for hours. “Hey, they are quiet and not fighting! This is great!” We have to fight this and get them outside or reading a book or both! :)

    1. Amen, Sarah…it can be easy to use tech as a quick babysitter and in moderation it’s good to know our kids are having fun or using it for education. But you are so right…time outside to play, be creative, or just read a good book is so needed for us and them. Thanks for visiting and adding to the conversation!

  2. Tiffany, this is such an important topic! So relevant to us moms. It’s easy to go on auto-pilot with the technology. I’ve found it even more difficult as my teens get older. Thanks for your wise words. As summer starts, I need to talk to my kids about setting limits on internet use. Your post has given me the encouragement I need.

    1. So glad you found encouragement here, Betsy. Summer does bring more opportunities for technology in the extra downtime so it’s the perfect time to chat with our kids. Thanks for visiting, friend!

  3. Such wise and practical advice, with grace Tiffany. I really appreciated the way you covered all the bases here with such a gentle spirit. It is an easy world to get lost in, and I learned the hard way that they can see more than you want them to without even thinking about it. I am thankful, however, for the leading of the Lord to check histories and be able to actually talk to my kids right away. I had to do a lot of praying and not assuming then, though, because I needed them to know they coudl trust me not to lose it. ;)

    Blessings,
    Dawn

    1. So glad you found the post helpful, Dawn and more so that the intent came across with grace. It is an easy place to get lost and even overwhelmed in…and yes, even lose our cool when we realize the dangers our kids are or have been exposed too. Thankfully there are safeguards available to us and amen…the Lords leading the greatest of those. So blessed you visited and shared your own experience. Blessings to you!

  4. Love these reminders. My eldest, of four, is only seven and already I am having to intentionally teach him that though technology is amazing and wonderful, but it can so easliy become an idol. Thank you for these tips, and that it is oh so important to start with myself.

    1. That’s a good point, we can start to let technology take the place of the better things…especially because a lot of it helps us be productive and is entertaining. So great that you are starting early…then he can help you out and model it for his younger siblings!! :) So glad you stopped by today and added to the conversation! Blessings.

  5. Such truth here about an important issue we all face – regardless of whether we have kids and what ages they are. I remind myself it’s okay if our family looks different from society. In fact, that’s really what God actually wants. It can be hard to draw the boundaries though when there is so much noise. Thanks for being encouragement among the noise. So grateful for your wisdom. xoxo

    1. You’re right, Kristen…there is a lot of noise and it can be easy to get caught in it all. I’m grateful for grace and that fact that small changes can make a difference in our homes and with our kids. Thanks for your faithful encouragement, friend. Hugs!

  6. Perfect post and so relevant for our kids. As I was reading this I was thinking of the students in my classroom (3rd graders) who do not have the blessing of parents who are following your steps above. I am praying that kids are exposed to boundaries as they grow up to learn that life is not just about social media or video games.

    1. Amen, Mary. With the information kids can access today they need that extra covering and protection…boundaries make a difference for kids and even adults, right?! Joining with you in prayer!Thank you for stopping by today.

  7. Such a good post. I’m not quite as far into this territory yet, but it will be here soon. In fact, it is beginning already. My four year old was playing an app (a kids game!) on my tablet the other day and clicked on the wrong thing. It sent her to a page full of women in their bras! And it wasn’t a lingerie ad. I was horrified. I now know that not even all kids games are safe territory, so I play all games first and try clicking on every little things to see where it might lead.

    I am ALL FOR no phones/devices at the table. It is so sad to me to see a family of five out to eat and EVERYONE is on their devices (even the little kids).

    1. It’s so crazy, Tasha! I’ve heard similar stories about kids apps. and then also those about outrageous in-app purchases that can cost thousands. And yes…we’ve started no tech at the table or even answering the phone. At the speed we move these days we have to grab for uninterrupted family time. So glad you came by and found some helpful info. and thanks for sharing your experience. Blessings!

  8. Tiffany, I concur with all of your suggestions! I believe setting healthy boundaries is crucial. I also agree with you on setting the example, as the parent! Great scripture references too! This is an insightful read for parents. Well done!

    1. Thank you, Stephanie…so glad you found it valuable. Yes, it does start with us and makes me extra vigilant to be sure I’m living out the example I want my son to follow. Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts.

  9. Tiffany, YES, THIS: “We point them towards God and we pray they keep running His direction.” Love your tips. So helpful. I recently was talking to my Confirmation class about the impact Social Media can have. They cannot take back something once it is out there on the world wide web. Thanks for being such a great example for your kids. I also need to learn to be better about unplugging more often. Let’s listen and hear God’s words “Be still and know that I am God.”

    1. It’s so great that you are spreading the word to your sphere of influence too, Tara. It’s true and a bit scary – word travels fast at today’s speeds and you never know where it’s landed even if you try and hit delete. Things can be manipulated so easily and its important that our kids press the pause button and think before they speak (or type). I need to be better about unplugging too – it’s hard given how much we use technology to be productive, but it’s worth it. Thanks for visiting and joining in the conversation, friend! :)

  10. We aren’t yet at this level of technology use with my littles but I know it’s coming soon. Thank you for the wisdom and insight!

    1. You’re welcome, Kaylie. It will be something you can tuck away in your heart for when necessary. In the meantime, you enjoy those littles. :) So blessed you stopped by today.

  11. My daughter isn’t old enough yet to use technology in this way, but I’m already praying that God will gives us wisdom when the time comes. These are great pointers, though! I’ll have to keep them in mind. :) Visiting from PF!

    1. Thank you, Asheritah…glad you liked the pointers. We know He honors those prayers for wisdom, and you are quite tech saavy so I know He’s given you tools to pass on to your daughter. Blessed you stopped by today, friend.

  12. Hi Tiffany,
    What a great post, full of informative and practical information. We have always followed the guidelines you suggest in #1, and although some people might think that we are too protective, we were able to step in and guide our child through a difficult situation when inappropriate comments came online from someone we would have thought could be trusted. I do believe we are to trust God with our kids, but He has given us the capacity for reasoning and wisdom and expects us to use them!
    Blessings,
    Kamea

    1. Amen! So true, Kamea. God oversees but He has placed us over our children’s lives with purpose, to protect and instruct them. I’m so glad you were able to step in and do just that in that difficult situation. It usually takes just one to open our eyes to what is out there. Thanks for adding to the conversation today, friend.

  13. These are great steps! I am sharing this with some friends of mine! This is a great line – “not everyone we invite into our lives enters with grace.” There’s some real truth to grab hold of! Thanks for such a great post! :)

    1. It’s a sad reality but as a teacher I’ve seen some of the horrors that occur when young people take being one another’s “friend” as license to put their life, words, photos on display. And unfortunately things can be taken out of context and manipulated…the exact opposite of grace. So glad you found the steps valuable. Thanks for visiting, Rachel.

  14. I learned quickly that it’s not only what my teens could find out there in the interwebs, but who might seek them out too… and that they’ll have a completely difference set of morals or attitudes than what they first project…
    Didn’t take long for all sorts of talks and new practices to be put in place, and my kids got to see, and not just hear, that it was because we love them that we protect them, even from themselves ;)
    Fabulous post, Tiffany, I’m sharing this super important message of yours, big time.

    1. You’re so right, Christine. Teaching our kids why our values-our truth-is designed to protect them is so important. Especially in light of all they are exposed to, in school, with friends, etc. Not everything or everyone is as they appear, right? We are having all sorts of talks too! So glad you found the post of value. Blessing, friend!

  15. Love this post! I have a love/hate relationship with the computer. It scares me to think that they can just see something even accidentally. My kids are young too, but we have all devices pretty much located in our main living room, which I think is a priority I want to keep as much as possible even into the teenage years.

    1. I know, Kortney…as writers we kind of need those keyboards and screens, but I’m tempted to shut it all down time and again. I think the filters help quite a bit with accidents and make appropriate screen time much less frightening. Now even TV is like navigating a minefield…you never know what commercial or ad will squash your best laid intentions. Thanks for adding to the conversation, friend. Blessings.

  16. Really great post! Our child is a toddler but my husband and I talk about this topic regularly. We see habits in our youth group and already planning on how we will approach this when our son is older. And who knows what technology will bring in a few years? Visiting over from #RaRaLinkUp

    1. Thank you, Sam. You are right in the midst with youth group – yes, I’ve seen a lot of interesting things come out of that age group. They have access to so much and keeping us, and then them informed, and mindful of God’s expectations makes it easier to navigate it all. You’ll be well equipped by the time your little one is ready to take on the cyber-world! Blessings, Sam – thank you for stopping by today!

  17. This is such a tricky thing. So much I don’t know that I don’t know. I was at a presentation with Jon Acuff and I loved his perspective. Instead of being overwhelmed, he suggested asking the kids abouts what types of social media/games they were involved with. Then, allow them to provide you with a tutorial for how it works, who they connect with, etc. Such great advice. It removes so much pressure in the long run- plus, it allows the kiddos to share something close to their hearts.

    1. It is a tricky thing and I love that advice to get the kids involved. It can be overwhelming, but when we purpose to know what our kids are involved in, we stay informed along the way, rather than having it all (especially the dangers) hit us all at once. Thanks for stopping by Samantha – always great to have you a part of the conversation.

  18. Tiffany, thank you for setting a blueprint for us here. TV is the main thing I have to monitor now as my kids aren’t old enough for cell phones and FB accounts yet (at least in my opinion) but I know there will come a day when they ask for both. You’ve covered some key points here and yes, boundaries are so important. Praying for our kids today. Blessings to you, friend.

    1. We still monitor TV in our house too – I have to monitor it for me! :) My son is 12 and the cell phone is needed to stay connected while he’s at his activities, but we have yet to do social media with him. He’s only asked a handful of times and doesn’t seem that interested – I’m running with that for as long as possible! Glad you found the tips helpful, Abby. Blessings back at you!

    1. Indeed it is coming! I’m amazed at how many apps there are now that are geared for our little ones. Fun and educational stuff too – but things that often set the tone for being connected to a screen instead of each other. Glad you found the words helpful and I’m so blessed that you stopped by today. :)

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