Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

On My Mind #32: My opinion on kids and electronics

So my daughter used her birthday money to buy my old iPhone. It’s not working as a phone at all, so no problems there. It will mostly function as an iPod touch. I am wrestling a bit with this, so here is my opinion. I know there will be some who disagree (as with every opinion). But here are some thoughts which are guiding how we are approaching this.

1. She owns the device, we own the house.
What this means is that yes, she is the full owner of the device. But because we are parents who prefer to be in charge of our home, she will have to use the device according to our guidelines. We love our children and don’t want to overwhelm them with freedom.

2. There will be hours when she can’t use it.
I have been perturbed about the late hour usage of cell phones and devices since I was in youth ministry. Perhaps someone does, but I have no problem collecting the device after certain hours in order to teach the lesson that devices don’t control our lives. Further, there will be time limits on how much it can be used (as we do with other electronics, TV, etc.)

3. There will be certain ways we won’t allow her to use it.
There is no need for a nine year old to have access to the internet on a mobile device. Safari will be disabled. Netflix? Not necessary. Games and music she wants to purchase? Fine. Camera? Good. Other things that come up? We’ll decide as we go along.

4. The bottom line is I believe in balancing freedom with structure.
The more kids show responsibility, the more they should have freedom. They should also see adults living under structure. If you want your kids to be accountable for their usage of the internet, then you should tell them how you are accountable in your life.

I hope this is helpful and makes you think. I’d love to hear how others handle this dicey issue!

Comments

  1. I disagree with everything you say. Even your vowel usage.

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