I realize that there are many situations where it is best for your child to have a cell phone to communicate with you due to after school programs or parents working hours, as well as many other situations. You can only decide what you believe is best for your child but, I want to share why our kids don’t have cell phones or social media accounts.
Our motto for parenting is not to “raise our kids in a bubble” so that they are shocked when they hit the real world and have no concept, compassion or understanding of how the world truly works and the challenges they will face. Our motto is to “raise brave kids” that are not scared or fearful about the world and that learn to love and impact this world in mighty ways . Not living a perfect life but, a purposeful life for Christ. This cannot be done in a bubble.
Our 2 oldest boys are 8 & 10 and, even though that may seem young to many of you, many of their peers have cell phones and social media accounts. I even get friend requests from them.LOL.
Our goal is to teach them about the bad things that they will encounter in this world and the temptations they will face and, not have social media or the internet teach them those things for us. Whether you are in denial or not, kids are curious and there are the same things that come across our social media accounts as do theirs. The same goes for the internet on their phones. It doesn’t matter how “good or responsible” you feel like your child is. My boys are incredibly responsible but, I’m not naive enough to realize that temptation to make bad choices comes after them daily just as it does me.
We want to teach our children about sex and what God says about it… about media and what you need to watch out for, and what will glorify God… about accountability…
about not having so much emphasis on popularity and how many likes you get but, realizing the importance of character and what’s in your heart.
These ages are when they are the most influenced. These networks teach our children that what you look like is most important, what people say about you and making your life look more perfect than it is, is most important. They can innocently follow their favorite Disney star and still get the same negative messages about what matters in this life. This is molding their brains and how they see the world and, if we aren’t teaching them and letting them mature BEFORE being open to these things, they will become insecure, people pleasing, self absorbed individuals.
I can’t count how many mom’s I’ve talked to that have to put up restrictions for themselves to not obsess over social media, over the internet, or being on there phones and not making real connections. If these are issues for us, why would we put them on our kids. Who do they seriously need to talk to on their phones other than emergencies? Don’t we want them to learn the value of real face-to-face relationships and, of self-confidence as well as learning wisdom in tempting situations?
We can’t “throw them to the wolves” and hope they make great choices, when we are barely mature enough why do we expect them to do?!
Don’t blindly make choices because everyone else seems to be doing it. Ask yourself what messages your sending your children.
The truth is that Satan uses our phones, and social media in SOOOOOOO many ways. Be aware of those in your life as well as your children. Love them more than their approval and really wanting to give them a good base for starting their lives and developing their opinions or others will do it for them.
LET THEM BE KIDS.
Why boggle them down with all the heaviness and stress that comes from these things rather than just let them be kids a little longer. Let their minds stay innocent a little longer. Let them not obsess over being popular and other superficial issues. Let them deal with that stuff at school and let home be a stress free atmosphere.
Life gets harder as we get older, we deal with a variety of issues as adults and, I don’t want my kids to take those on before they have to. 90% of their lives will be dedicated to that, I want to give them the full 10%.
I want to teach and train them in Christ about this world, rather than having other kids, celebrities or a YouTube video teach them how to view people and this life they live.
In our day and age, everything is overally sexual, overally selfish and overally shallow and, I want to teach them the real value of life in these few years where so much of their worldview is being molded. I pray that our choices help lead them in the ways of Christ, teaching them to follow Him and not the fads of this world. Sometimes they won’t be liked, or popular, or fit in but, they have to have confidence in their choices pleasing God above all others, even when no one else is doing the same. I believe that this is a way to do that.
So for now there are no cell phones for children in our house or social media and guess what?! My kids are happy, healthy and have plenty of fun and entertainment in every 24 hour period. They enjoy being kids and keeping life as simple as possible. One day we will have to cross that path but, right now we choose to give them a more peaceful, stress-free home life!
Are there other limitations you implement to keep your children from being taught or trained by “the world” before they are by you??
For more articles on parenting, check out: “4 questions that will get your kids to talk openly about school.”