Are your kids overstimulated by too much screen time? Is your family fighting the war of disengaging from iPhones, iPads, online games and television?
The statistics are alarming as they reveal how media affects children’s sleep patterns, learning abilities and mental health. Your concern about how much time your kids spend in front of a screen is valid. And, as Christian parents, the question then arises of what your kids are being exposed to online. The dangers of the internet and the counter-Christian media can adversely affect your children’s spiritual well-being and ultimately their worldview.
“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” – Matthew 6:22-23 (NIV)
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Every moment of your child’s growing up years is important in shaping their outlook on life. George Barna, director of the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University, reports that “a person’s worldview begins forming at 15-18 months of age and is about fully formed at the age of 13.”
As a parent raising children in a digital age, you have two choices: Eliminate technology completely or help your kids develop healthy habits to manage it. Here are healthy ways to trim screen time back while incorporating positive media that will strengthen your children’s faith and gather your family together.
Healthy Habits In a Digital Age
Do the research necessary to determine what media honors God and what media is counter to the Christian values established in your home. Include the kids in the discussion and make a list of the media that you feel good about. Then, instead of telling your kids what they can’t watch, you can present options of what they can watch.
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The matter of making wise choices isn’t a 21st-century problem; even King David dealt with it.
“I will be careful to lead a blameless life ... I will not look with approval on anything that is vile.” – Psalm 101:2-3 (NIV)
You may have a fight on your hands when you start limiting screen time, but it’s up to you to help your kids develop healthy habits. When it’s time to close things down, smooth the transition by providing fun activities for your kids to engage in. Play a game of kickball to expend energy or visit your local library to cultivate their love for reading.
Set a Good Example
How many times do you check your phone or barrel off a text? And how often do you catch yourself lost in the scroll of your social media feeds? We can all use less screen time, and your personal moderation will go a long way in helping your kids make healthy choices as they grow. Be in the moment and remember, children will do what you do.
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With the right choices, media offers a wealth of opportunities for families to come together. Plan a fun family movie night or an exercise time together. Even gaming can be done together! Be creative and work technology to your family’s advantage.
Screentime is inevitable. But why not use it as an opportunity to get connected with and laugh together with your family? Schedule weekly movie nights and stream something that has been modified for family viewing and can be enjoyed together. Become a Pure Flix member today and get access to thousands of faith and family-friendly movies and shows – with an entire selection for kids and teens that parents are sure to love too!
When managed wisely, technology does have its advantages. It’s up to us as Christian parents to monitor and guide our kids towards a healthy use of media in today’s digital age.