Recent studies featured in the Sacramento Bee yesterday speak to the modern challenge of our time: distraction from what really matters and truth.
The seductive distraction of cyber technology that interferes with our God-given ability to think for ourselves is something with which children must contend before they learn to walk. And for our children of the Web, born 1990 and later who cannot imagine a world with WWW connectivity, and their parents, this is truly a power crisis.
The Bee report indicated that there is evidence from an MTV study that children are being more selective about the social media channels (such as SnapChat and Instagram) and seeking privacy and are thereby “mono-tasking.” At the same time another study by professor Larry Rosen, at California State University Dominguez Hills, finds that the devices, regardless of the apps, are distracting and stimulate anxiety which inhibits ability to focus and learn.
The challenge for parenting cyber-powered kids is to recognize that we have the authority, all of us, to rise above the distraction of the seductive applications and be purpose-driven. It is the authority model of civil liberty that made the founding of the American republic possible: God is sovereign over the individual, who grants us intelligent life and free will. Power is therefore something that cannot be taken from you. But it can be surrendered.
The challenge for the modern family, therefore, is to create a culture that encourages the responsible use of free will in the network culture – or thinking for yourself.
Last week Lois Evans, who runs a pastor wives ministry at the Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship Church in Dallas, spoke at the KFIA Women in Ministry symposium at Bridgeway Christian Church in Rocklin. Her message is one that offers hope and encouragement for parenting as a divine appointment.
“We are bombarded by directions and information from our smartphones and blackberries,” Evans said. “But we must learn to stay in our lane. Stop looking into the faces of people and look into the face of Jesus. Find time to be still and hear from the Lord. When we are too busy, we are missing God’s provision and peace.”
Evans offered encouragement for parents who are experiencing the anxiety and drudgery of day-to-day life raising children in this topsy-turvy world filled with distractions and untruth. “What you are doing right now matters,” she said. “Be careful who is speaking into your life. He qualifies ‘the called’. Be confident that He has your back.”
This confidence of the authority in each of us to be the parent is more important than ever. When we have confidence in our children to be independent thinkers, and we express house rules as a way to be free from the manipulation of the bullies and commercial interests in the network, our children will find a measure of peace and prosper.
For more about establishing house rules as civil liberty go to: House rules as empowerment for children
- Banana Moments: Help for Parenting in the Network Culture
- The Authority In Me (asserting parental authority in the network)
- Bridgeway Christian Church
- Fresh Start Family Culture Builder for Household Executives
- CyberParenting Topics on The Fish 103.9FM Tuesdays
- Follow Joanna @CyberParenting
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