Most of our kids have a level of online proficiency that can is bewildering to us. This electronic prowess can be extremely helpful, and it can be extremely damaging. We learned in our first installment of this month’s online parenting class that we are the guardians of our children’s hearts, and if we want those hearts to remain pure, we MUST put boundaries around our child’s use of the Internet.
Before Paul tells us about the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5, he first helps us understand that the Holy Spirit stands in stark contrast to our selfish desires. Paul says in Galatians 5:16-17:
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.”
We want our children to be led by God and not by their flesh (selfish desires), so our role is to set boundaries in place that will help them to that end. Here are some tangible ways to begin setting boundaries that will lead children to online safety.
- All laptops and desktops are to be used in public places. They don’t go in bedrooms.
- Remove search engine (safari, yahoo, google) apps from your child’s mobile device. If they need to look something up, they use a public laptop.
- Tell your child, if they delete the history on a device, it gets taken away. Then check your child’s history repeatedly (at least once a week) so you know what your child is looking at online.
- Set restrictions on your child’s device (look for this month’s extra resource for more info on this).
- Use a content filter (look for this month’s extra resource for more info on this)
There are many ways to set your child up for online success, and this list provides just a few ways to do that. We have an extra resource available to you this month called “Everything you need to know to safeguard your kid online.” If you feel like you could use some extra guidance in that area, we’re excited to share it with you!