Protecting our children’s eyes when they’re online

Have children who are active online?  How do you protect them?

A few weeks ago my husband Greg and I attended a seminar given by Protect Young Eyes organization.  According to their website (www.protectyoungeyes.com), their mission is to keep kids and teens safe from the dangers lurking on portable, Internet-ready devices.  Our 6 older kids are grown and living independently, but we still have our 2 littles at home that we need to supervise and teach appropriate technology use.  I was so impressed with this seminar and learned so many things – first and foremost – get rid of their use of youtube (even youtube for kids!)  The predators on that website alone can make your skin crawl!!

 

 

 

The speaker presented some realities and strategies regarding today’s technology.

 

Reality #1:  Technology is erasing childhood (and adulthood) – kids are seeing and doing things much younger than in previous years.                                                                              Strategy #1:  Know your kids.  There is a blog post on their website entitled What’s the Right age to give my kid Social Media that includes questions to ask yourself if your child is ready.  It’s an excellent read!!

Reality #2:  Porn is the norm – this makes me overwhelming sad, but unfortunately it is the truth in today’s age.   She stated that 20-30% of the entire internet is filled with porn.  The affect it has on a developing mind is staggering.   The average age a child sees their first pornographic image online is 8 years old!!!                                                                              Strategy #2:  Say the right things.  They taught us a phrase to teach our children “anything that makes you uncomfortable, bad, or is scary, put it down”.  She suggested not to X out of the site, but to just put the device down.  That way we can investigate where it came from and assess the need to report it somewhere.  She offered 3 different blog posts on this reality.  Each of these articles are informative and helpful: Snapchat Launches Cosmo AfterdarkInstagram Porn is worse than you think.     How to talk to a 5 year old about porn

Reality #3:  Technology is rewiring their brains and hearts.  She began getting very specific regarding a child’s brain and the cortisol and dopamine levels…needless to say – lots of technology (good and bad) can be detrimental to a childs development.                                                                                                                                                                            Strategy #3:  Put it off as long as possible.  When you do decide to allow your children to use the internet setting controls and time limits are essential.  They wrote a blog post about recommendations for screen time here.

So now what do you do with all that information!?!?!

With all this information, I have a tendency to worry about what are our children in for when they are online.  Then I’m reminded that I shouldn’t add that onto my shoulders of guilt and “should-a, could-a, would-a’s”.  I need to take all that and place it at the foot of the cross.  Soooo much easier said than done!!  Praying for our kids is one of the best gifts we can give them.  Would you like something that would make that easier for you?  Sign up and download a free printable for 6 verses to pray over you’re child’s technology usage.  I would love to be able to help you with praying for your children.  Remember…..it takes a village…..even in this technological age!!  To get even more information about how to protect your kids in this digital age visit Protect Young Eyes .

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