We live in a world of wireless technology – but that is leading to wireless families. Dr. Kathy Koch examines how to connect with our teens in a fast-paced world.
Kathy says it starts with the parent. If we want a connected home, we have to be the launching pad.
“I understand the busyness of moms and dads – but as much as possible, stay off your devices during the kids’ waking hours. Show them that they matter.”
Kathy shares some practical tips out of her book Screens and Teens: Connecting with Our Kids in a Wireless World.
• Don’t post everything on social media; it sends the message that our kids need to perform.
“It’s their job to be good enough so that their mom will want to take a picture and post it on social media. I’m not opposed to pictures – it’s just the idea that we don’t need to tell the world everything we’re doing. Most of us are not going to post pictures of the messy dining room table.”
• Security comes from God, not from how many Facebook or Twitter connections we make.
• Use technology to bring you closer as a family – watch cooking shows with your daughter; play Wii with your sons. Watch a Bible documentary or miniseries on your laptop and then talk about it.
• The key is to start with limitations on technology as early as you can, as long as you can. Set boundaries on weeknights and weekends.
Kathy unpacks five lies that young people are believing that are being fed by our wireless world.
1. I am the center of my own universe.
2. I deserve to be happy all the time.
3. I must have choices.
4. I am my own authority.
5. Information is all I need, so I don’t need teachers.
Kathy urges parents not to lose heart as they have ongoing conversations about teens and technology.
“As long as our children see us being on their side, and monitoring them because we love them, they won’t resent us. We’ve got to protect our kids – that’s our job.”