Tweens & Technology

Hear, my son, your father’s instruction… ESV Proverbs 1:8

Don’t judge me. I bought my son a phone. In middle school. Of course I realize some kids get phones in elementary, other kids in high school, so I’m not sure where you fall on your phone/parenting spectrum. My wife and I wrestled a lot with this and finally concluded that as he heads off to co-op classes and soccer practices without us, it was best that he have one. However, I’m still torn on my thought process, so I thought I would share it with you to encourage you to have a thought process on whatever phone policies you set with your kids.

His phone is locked down to basically just call and text. (We use Covenant Eyes…another post in itself, and something I HIGHLY recommend). I think he’s a bit young to navigate all the challenges of life, yet he’s definitely old enough to begin to function on his own. Theoretically with a phone he can text me if he needs wisdom in a situation. If kids are picking on someone, should he walk away, stand up for the kid, throw a punch? If he’s at a friend’s house and they watch a questionable movie, should he watch it, suggest another movie, or leave? Hopefully, he wil reach out for advice (and I can touch base to ensure all is going well). I’m envisioning an extension of the book of Proverbs. Solomon constantly poured wisdom into his son, instructing him through various situations. Perhaps technology allows this opportunity. Or perhaps not. Perhaps the phone will keep him from walking in the Spirit and praying hard when he encounters a challenge. Why pray when you can just text Dad? Perhaps the phone will open up text conversations with girls that should be postponed until he’s 27. Perhaps I’ve become a helicopter parent.

I don’t have all the answers. And neither do you. We must think through why we make the parenting decisions we do. Why do we give our daughter a cell phone when she turns three? Why do we plan to keep our son sheltered until he’s 23? Pray it through. Think it through. Walk in confidence with the leading of the Holy Spirit. That’s my goal with my son. The phone is just a tool to get there.

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