They are called “Digital Natives”. Children who are born with technology as a norm. When my children were young, the technology that we had to be worried about was how much TV they could watch and how much “gaming” they did. The big desktop computer was in the living room and they had limited time to do some school work. Now, children have small computers with access to the world at their fingertips that some carry with them everywhere. Often unprotected with no guidance. We hold a child’s hand to help them cross the street safely, then give them a device to allow them on the information super-highway alone. Sometimes parents allow their child that freedom because they are not fully aware.
Matt McKee has written a book entitled, “Parent Chat, The Technology Talk For Every Family“. He shares from personal experience the need to have that family chat.
With technology constantly changing, no one can give you a comprehensive explanation of apps and how to fully protect your family, but you can get the conversation started. That is what Matt does in this book, he helps you get the conversation started. He does this by discussing three questions:
- What is happening?
- What can I say?
- What can I do?
The parent is the ultimate control and in order to maintain that control, parents need to be willing to keep the lines of communication open with their child.
This is a quick read and provides parents, and children/youth ministry leaders with information to have “that chat” about technology and help them stay safe online.