Can You Hear Me Now (Internet)
by Rev. Jimmy Vaughn
The internet is a wonderful thing, I am amazed every day just how much you can do and find on the web. But I am equally amazed at just how close the types of information I do not want is as well. It is a “surf by surf’ effort to guard our families from the most damaging content available. Your children are likely more net savvy than you, and yet we are called to guard and guide them.
There are some practical steps to save guarding your child while they surf the web.
- Establish clear rules on the use of the web. This can include when the net can be accessed, the length of time to be spent, and what sites are acceptable. Remember that the internet is not a “right” owed, it is a privilege, one you, the parent, are providing.
- Place the computer in a room where it and the user can be seen. There is a real danger for children and parents alike when there is not accountability. Being in the family room does not mean that you have to stand on top of them. But having the potential of someone looking may help in making a better choice.
- Use one of the many software packages to help limit the exposure to questionable web sites and materials. One that I use that is free and easy to use is designed to give accountability when it comes to pornography on the internet. It is produced by the XXX Church and can be downloaded at X3watch.com. You must take the time, effort, and pay the cost to make your family’s computer as safe as possible.
- Parents should have access to all of their children’s online accounts such as MySpace, Facebook, and so on. You should have the passwords so that that you can sign in and see what your child’s space contains, and what others are sharing with them. Yes, this will be met with resistance, but accountability usually is and if they are doing nothing wrong, there will be nothing to fear. Another way to keep connected is to establish your own pages and have your children as friends. This will give you accountability and also help you stay in touch in some small part to the culture that is so prevalent in your child’s life.
In closing, I would like you to know that these simple steps are the very ones I have used with my children. It is not always easy to be a parent, and our children do not always understand or appreciate our decisions. But you only get to raise your children one time, so do everything possible to guard them and guide them in this ever changing world we live in.
Rev. Jimmy Vaughn is pastor of Authentic Life Fellowship