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4 SAY Certain Things

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Strategy 4: SAY Certain Things

There are two sides to this conversation. What to say proactively, and being ready to say certain things reactively. Passive parenting is not an option in the digital age! Information is cheap and fast. If parents don’t answer the tough and awkward questions early and often, then you can be sure Dr. Google will.

Proactive Things to Say:

  • We’ve recently published an e-book called, Parent Tech Talks – it’s free, so download it today! There you’ll find conversation starters for the four life stages of your child, from pre-school through high school. Parent Tech Talks Cover
  • See our blog post Give your Kids the Right Tools for insights on what to say to kids and a fantastic video.
  • Remind your kids early and often that no matter who purchased the device, it belongs to you! In the eyes of the law, the subscriber owns the device. Because you own it, you (as mom/dad) have access to the device anytime.
  • Talk about healthy sexuality with your kids – early and often! Establish yourself as their primary resource for knowledge in this often misunderstood area. Be very clear that pornography is a twisted view of sexuality and actually KILLS real love. Some amazing conversation starters are in the Resources section of the website.
  • Let them know that no matter what they see, whether it’s accidental or intentional, that they can come and tell you about it – keep the communication doorway wide open.
  • Use a digital code of conduct. There are many, here are a couple: (1) General Device Covenant Example (2) Smart Phone Covenant Example
  • Be open and honest about monitoring their device and tell them why! It’s not that you don’t trust them…it’s that you don’t trust the millions of creeps and weirdos trolling the internet.
  • Show them stories of kids who didn’t get it right with their digital behavior and remind them that the internet never forgets.

What to Say In the Moment:

What if your kid admits an online addiction? What would you say?

  • Do NOT overreact! (or he/she will never tell you if it happens again)
  • Do NOT shame you child! (or he/she will never tell you if it happens again)
  • Do NOT act shocked or disgusted (or he/she will never tell you if it happens again)
  • DO say how much you still love him/her (because that’s how God treats you)
  • DO say that he/she is still your precious son/daughter (because that’s how God treats you)
  • DO say that he/she is forgiven at the cross (because that’s how God treats you)
  • THEN punish as you see fit! (yes, we believe in consequences!)

This is John 1:17 in action. LEAD with GRACE (forgive)….FOLLOW with TRUTH (consequence). The order is critical.

See also Strategy 8: Get Help if Necessary for more information on what to do when someone you love is in trouble online. Do not mess around with a long-term porn addiction or online predators.

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