08 Mar Praying AND Proactive
Recently, I read a disturbing article about a social media app and the dangers linked to it for our tweens and teens. I could not help but think of my daughter, who will be turning 8 in a few short weeks. My daughter is already changing in various areas. When I look at her face, I see that she is growing out of that adorable baby face I am so used to seeing. Her sense of style is her own and VERY different from mine. And she’s becoming more and more her own person. Her individuality is something to be admired. She knows what she likes and what she doesn’t. She is also jumping through the hoops of life, learning what she should and shouldn’t do, say or engage in.
I didn’t grow up in the age of all of this crazy social media the way children are exposed today at such young ages. When I was 13 years old, my mother bought us a home computer. Back then, there were only chatrooms. But, even with this, there were dangers. I can remember quickly getting hooked into these chatrooms and even though I would enter the “Christian” ones, there were some shady folks in there. But, I will tell you, I’m so happy that our home computer broke down less than a year after we received it. I was always on that computer during this timeframe, and that break away from it helped me get away from what could potentially have been an addiction at such a young age.
When I think back to my 13-year-old self, I can see that I was not emotionally or mentally prepared to even be in these chatrooms. With all of these available platforms for our tweens and teens today, I am very sure that the effects of social media on their young minds do not produce all positive results. Truthfully, these age groups are not mature and their brains are not fully developed, yet. Can you imagine how these kids can use the internet as their own weapons? Yes, you can. Because it has happened and continues to. It’s called bullying. In fact, it is not surprising that they engage in cyberbullying, when one can witness adults doing this! If we aren’t showing the right example, how will our children engage in what’s right?
With this age of social media and being able to easily compare one another, it is no wonder that our kids experience more stress than we may have in the past. Not only does this happen face-to-face in school environments, but it is also at the tip of their fingers – online…and ALWAYS. They don’t get that break away from those stressful environments the way we may have during our adolescent years by just entering the comfort of our own homes after school. Today, kids just have to get online and be quickly submerged back into all of that stress. And this can result in negative thoughts, eating issues and depression. Parents, this is what our children are facing and will face during their young years.
I don’t know about you, but I’d like to keep my children being children for as long as possible. I’d also like to see them engaged in wonderful activities, such as outdoor sports and swimming, or the arts and music. These kids don’t need to spend so much time online. They need to be able to learn and grow in their own capacity and do not need the pressures of online cruelty to dictate how they should act, what they should wear and what interests they should have. I believe parenthood in this day and age is more complicated as a result of the high-tech society we have created. There are some great benefits to having this technology. However, our children are our future’s promise. And if we aren’t active in protecting their minds, hearts and spirits from the dangers that are lurking at their fingertips, we will lose them to the schemes of the enemy.
Parent, I join you in praying for our children. But, I also believe we have to be proactive in our parenting. God has given us these treasures as our children. It is our responsibility to nurture them and protect them to the best of our abilities. We cannot slack off. We need to be vigilant. The results of our parenting are too important and crucial for the future of families, society and ultimately, the world.