Are you a parent or a grandparent with young children? Do you recognize the dangers our young children face in our technology-driven society?
Today Andrea Merrell shares with you how our young ones easily grasp the world of technology and what our role is as caregivers to protect them from the corruption that is so easily accessible on these devices. Here’s Andrea’s advice…
My Child and the Cyber World
by Andrea Merrell
We live in a technology-driven society, but raising children in today’s cyber world is getting harder and harder. When my children first started school—many years ago—my biggest concerns were things like dirty language and bullying. Today, kids are exposed to everything from drugs to pornography, even in elementary school. I see third graders with cell phones and kids even younger who have unlimited access to the Internet. Many parents are so busy trying to keep up with jobs and social commitments they don’t always know where their children are, who they’re with, or what they’re doing.
Even pre-school children are faced with dangers. My three-year-old granddaughter, Charli, can operate a cell phone, iPad, and TV remote almost as well as an adult. One day while I was playing with her two older sisters, Charli slipped out of the room unnoticed. When I went looking for her, I found her sprawled out on the floor deeply engrossed in something on her daddy’s iPad.
She loves cartoons, especially My Little Pony. At first glance, that’s what I thought she was watching. When I knelt down for a closer inspection, there were evil faces on the ponies. Suddenly, the screen filled with skeletons, and the evil ponies starting cutting open the heads of other ponies and “eating their brains.”
I quickly scooped up the iPad and said, “Sweetie, I don’t think this is something you need to be watching.” Fortunately, there was no resistance. (I think she was as confused about what she was seeing as I was.) When I told her mother about the video, she said her daughter must have grabbed the iPad when no one was looking. It seems they had been watching the real My Little Pony videos earlier that day, and YouTube was easily accessible to little fingers.
The psalmist said, I will set nothing wicked before my eyes. In this generation, driven by the media and high tech gadgets of all shapes and sizes, that’s a tall order. Commercials are sensual or downright crude and annoying. Previews that are supposed to be “approved for all audiences” are, most times, anything but. And the Internet is a wonderful, necessary, terrifying place—especially for those too young to know how to navigate it and bypass all the junk.
It’s amazing how bright our children are today. It seems they come out of the womb ready to face this new world of advanced technology that is their future. Our job as parents and grandparents is to teach them to use this technology wisely to protect their little minds from all sorts of filth and corruption.
Even for an adult, one wrong click of the mouse can open up ads and websites that are pure garbage, burning images and information into the sub-conscious mind that are almost impossible to eliminate. The psalmist also said, I will behave wisely in a perfect way. That takes a decision and a conscious effort.
Technology, as I said, is a wonderful tool and something we cannot do without. The key is using it wisely for the right purposes, and teaching our children the same. One of the best phrases I ever heard is this: As for me and my mouse … we will serve the Lord!
Meet Andrea. . .
Andrea Merrell is Associate Editor for Christian Devotions Ministries and Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She is also a freelance editor, leads workshops at writers’ conferences, and has been published in numerous anthologies and online venues. Andrea is the author of Murder of a Manuscript, The Gift, and Praying for the Prodigal. For more information, please visit www.AndreaMerrell.com or www.TheWriteEditing.com.