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Like Learning to Ride a Bike

tricycle

Like Learning to Ride a Bike

I remember the shiny, blue Huffy bike that my dad taught me how to ride. We didn’t have “balance bikes” back when I was a kid. Instead, we used training wheels in order to get our balance right. Over time, dad raised the training wheels a bit, so that I relied more on my balance, and even removed one altogether, before that memorable day when I said, “I’m ready!”

Now, in spite of the spills, bloody knees and bail outs into the neighbor’s lawn, just about every kid eventually learns how to ride a bike well. Conversely, I don’t know any kid who got his first bike on Christmas Eve, and assuming there’s no snow, dad pushed him down a hill on Christmas Day and said “good luck!”

But, isn’t that what we sometimes do with our kids and the Internet? They get the Kindle Fire or the X-Box or new iPhone for their birthday, and since they’re “a good kid,” we expect that if they stumble into something inappropriate, we would know or they will tell us. But, that’s just not true. Not during the “I really don’t need you as much” middle school days.

I’ve been using the “learning how to ride a bike” illustration often in my parent presentations at schools and churches to explain how we should approach teaching our kids how to use the internet responsibly. In the digital age, there’s no such thing as passive parenting. The Internet never rests, and it does a fabulous job answering tough questions with not-so-great answers if parents are vigilant.

Critical Questions for Every Family:

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, then you might have taken the training wheels off too soon, exposing your kid to internet dangers. Each of the questions above has links to information that might help. It’s not too late!

Peace, Chris

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