Social Networking… And Parenting
Theme: Parental responsibilities toward our children.
Lesson 1: Social Networking... and Parenting
A. In the previous lesson we looked at potential ills and potential ways in which social networking can be used to magnifying our God.
- With it came a spectrum of reactions and a lot of rethinking or firmed up convictions.
- Thankfully, parents are taking the subject matter to heart and want to ensure a family practice that will glorify our heavenly Father.
B. There is still another social-networking dynamic that must be addressed: the parent/child relationship.
- There are dangerous and predatory practices that parents must learn to address.
- There are trust issues that parents and children need to discuss and implement.
- Most importantly, there are biblical roles that must be fulfilled in order for discussions and practices to be well pleasing before our God.
DISTURBING AND PREDATORY SCENARIOS
A. Ills (as noted in previous lesson):
B. Internet pornography.*
- 90% of children 8-16 have been exposed.
- Average age: first exposure 11 yrs; advertisement group: 12-17 yrs.
- 20-30% to these “adult” sites: minors.
Aggressive tactics that target youth.
- Misleading URLs (example: martinlutherking.com).
- Chat-room bots.
- Porn Spam: 2.5 billion a day (ave. 4dayuser): Bob the Builder. Example: www.bobthebiulder.com
II. PARENTING PRINCIPLES THAT APPLY IN CYBERSPACE
A.Parents: It’s 4 PM, do you know where your children are in cyber-world?
- As in the “real” world parents do not always know where/what their children are doing on the internet (or activities that go on in social-networks).
- The point is that no matter where or what they are doing you want to do all you can to ensure they are living in a manner well pleasing to our God.
- Thus, regarding the ills in cyberspace:
- There are websites you wouldn’t allow your children to roam.
- Messages and images (posts, emails, chats) that you might deem inappropriate.
B. Therefore, parents have a responsibility before God.
- Children must learn to obey and honor their parents in the Lord. Eph. 6:1-3; Col. 3:20
- Parents must train up children in the way they should go. Eph. 6:4; Col. 3:21
C. Regarding Social Networking (this applies to parents as well as their children):
- Some parents will prevent their children from using the internet; others will allow it with strict guidelines; others will trust their children implicitly. Rom. 14:22
- Summary for those who will allow their children on the internet or to social networking sites: Don’t travel to websites or post anything (messages/images) you wouldn’t place on screen at church.
III.IF ALLOWING CHILDREN ON THE WEB/SOCIAL SITES
A. Don’t assume: discuss. Prov. 4:1-9
- Discuss the alarming trends and predatory actions that necessitate the use of the internet/social networking.
- Discuss the balance between parenting and children responsibilities.
B. Lay down some open rules. Prov. 22:6a
- Open computer: the monitor in open site.
- Open accounts: parental access to usernames/passwords.
- Open friends: friends physically known.
- Open chats: Parental monitoring, access to logs.
C. When rules/trust are broken: practice consequences; forgiveness; mercy. Eph. 4:32
- You may consider the loss of freedomprivilege of online activity (including: cell-phoneinternet accessibility).
- You may need keystroke capturing/detective software programs.
- Bottom line: parents have the God given responsibility to ensure safety and godly environment for their children.
A. Whether your family uses social-networking sites or not is your choice…make it unto the Lord.
B. If you choose to engage in the use of social-networking, be sure you understand and discuss with your children the risks and ramifications.
* Bil Mooney-McCoy (Director of Safe Families): www.safefamilies.org/webcasts/parents/Presentation_Files/index.html