Faith Filled Family Magazine November 2016 - Page 25

amount of time they spend online and to trust parental wisdom and our knowledgeable concerns of what they look at. Matt’s credentials show he is well qualified in communication skills, the best ways to use technology to benefit society and as a Christian parent, he has learned the hard way that he is responsible for what his children see, how they spend their time and to know what risks they may be exposed to on the Internet. Matt skyped me from his smart phone whilst sitting in his car in Atlanta! What inspired you to write Parent Chat? I began to notice my nine-yearold son was ‘acting weird’, so instead of just saying ‘what is wrong with you?’ I asked, ‘What was the most interesting thing that had happened to you today’. The answer I got back shocked me and broke my heart. He replied, ‘Dad, Superman and Wonderwoman take off their clothes sometimes.’ This was just the tip of the iceberg and made me realize how easily we can be disconnected from our families. You talk about parents asking the wrong questions about how kids will use technology. What does that mean exactly? I call parents digital immigrants, we use smart technology that we don’t really understand, whereas children from as young as three are digital natives, so we need to reassess our usage and skills of the technology our children take for granted. We need to look through our children’s eyes. For example we can ask, ‘can you teach me how?’ instead of ‘what are you looking at?’ then become fearful about how to deal with these issues or worse become disengaged from their children. We must first give our children a ‘permit’ How can parents use a prod- like when we first learn to drive uct like ‘Circle’ to help pro- a car. They are not ready yet to tect their kids from apps go it alone, so we agree to one and technology that may be app at a time, what they can harmful to them? use and for how long; remem‘Circle’ can record and monitor bering we should scrutinizing all the apps we and our chil- the app first. Then when know dren use. It also monitors how the app’s content and we see much time is spend on differ- our children can be trusted, ent devices and what content we allow another app and so is seen. By parents being able on. This helps to protect our to access this information from children, and gives us peace just one source, it enables our of mind and strengthens a families to make wise choices more trusting relationship too. to create a healthy balance between being entertained in the Parental Controls should virtual world and living the real not just be a reaction – they world of our relationships. are more effective when we are pro-active. Can you disYou suggest creating a cell cuss this a bit? And how do phone agreement including you feel about allowing your a ‘buy one, get one’ process. kids to know your passTell us about these strate- words? gies? If possible start when they This is about expectations. If are about three years old, we are saying, ‘go at it, down- by the time they are 9 or 10, load all the apps you want’, they will more adept at using how can we understand the technology than most parrisks involved? Parents can ents! Remember we are the