The Tech-Wise Parenting
by Andy Crouch
– Technology is in its right place when it helps us bond with people with whom we are close. Technology is not in its right place when it disconnects us from those we love while trying to connecting us with people at a distance we don’t even know.
– Technology is in its place when it helps start conversations, but it is not in its place when it kills conversation and makes us ignore one another.
– When technology replaces skills for passive action, something has gone wrong.
– Technology will not stay in its place on its own, you have to put it in its place.
– Our homes are not supposed to be refuel stations — a place where we, along with our devices, to refuel and continue on. Our homes are supposed to be places where there is joy and great memories made.
– The 10 Tech-Wise Commitments:
1. We develop wisdom and courage together as a family.
• Technology helps us get many things done and is very advantageous, but technology cannot provide you with the core issues of relationships.
• Technology can be a very big distraction to spending quality time with the ones we truly love.
• Children are driven to create if we will just nudge them instead of letting them zone into technology that someone else created and requires little thinking.
2. We want to create more than we consume. So we fill the center of our home with things that reward skill and active engagement.
3. We are designed for a rhythm of work and rest. So one hour a day, one day a week, and one week a year, we turn off our devices and worship, feast, play and rest together.
• We are required to work required to rest. God made both of them.
• We would do good to turn our devices off, leaving the world of technology for a time so that we can both work, rest and enjoy what God has given us.
• Instead of taking our devices to the playground when our children play, we should leave them behind to participate in our child’s life.
• When it’s a nasty day outside, instead of rushing to our device, maybe we should think about grabbing a book, cooking, playing a game or just talking.
• We should have a day and a time when we turn all devices off and focus on being with each other as a family.
• Set aside devices at the table.
4. We wake up before our devices do, and they “go to bed” before we do.
• We need sleep unlike our devices. We need to unplug, rest and sleep for at least 1/3 of the day to continue going strong – unlike our devices.
• Sleep is absolutely needed. Depriving someone of sleep is one of the most cruel punishment. 5. Learning and working
• Our children must learn how to use their hands and feet to play and run around. We are only hurting them when we immobilize them by handing them a screen that requires very little movement or thinking.
• Our children will spend much of their lives with technology and screens, so while young we should teach skills and creativity instead of look at a device that requires very little.
• Make your children learn to be creative and find activities as opposed to throwing a screen in front of them.
• Not placing your children in front of a TV, game or other kind of screen as a pastime requires creativity, energy and patience from the parent just as much as from the child.
• Kids learn how to use technology super fast, so requiring them to do other activities instead of using technology as response to boredom will help them with their motor skills. We are robbing children of their childhood when we don’t allow them to have dirt under their fingers instead of throwing technology as the answer to their boredom.
6. We use screens for a purpose, and we use them together, rather than using them aimlessly and alone.
• Boredom did not exist in the dictionary until the 18th century. Today we have unlimited amount of technology and we are full of boredom. We are so technology-based that we get bored easier. It would do us and our children good to unplug from technology and look at nature and all the amazing things that can be seen with the guys outside of technology.
7. Car time is conversation time
• One of the places where you’re forced to be together in one space with the captive audience is in your vehicle. You may hate the idea of driving, but this can turn out to be a sweet surprise for conversing.
• Car time can be some of the greatest conversation time if we will allow it to be.
• It is said that a real conversation takes at least seven minutes before getting into a subject of importance. On around the seventh minute, someone will take a risk and begin speaking about something personal. The sad side of our technology is that it prevents us to arrive to a deep conversation before we go back to looking at the screen. What might be on the other end of the seven minute mark will never be discovered because we are interrupted with technology and therefore the risks are never taken to become deeper conversations.
• By accident, we have taught our children that the car is one more boring spot that we have to be in to get somewhere, so just fill it with more technology to get through it.
• So make the rule that car time is going to be conversation time – for a minimum of seven minutes or more.
8. Spouses should have one another’s passwords and parents should have unrestricted access to their children’s devices.
• Sex was created to be enjoyed within the bounds of marriage, but technology has made it to be seen by anyone at anytime and broken all confidentiality.
• Children can find out what sex is and means because technology is available to tell them and show them absolutely anything that they want or think of.
• An astonishing 62% of young people said that they have received a nude picture on their phone and 40% have actually sent one.
• Pornography lures in and deceives people with what cannot be satisfied, and sadly before a young person realizes what they are involved in, it is almost too late and they are addicted.
• Nearly half of pornography that is sought out, according to a study, is searched as a result of boredom. We must give our children a fulfilled life so that they do not have to run to pornography.
• We cannot place our children in a bubble because our world is a porn-saturated society, but we can offer something different and better than what porn offers.
• Be wise and put a filter on their devices. And make your children to have a data-free device until they are older.
• Spouses should have one another’s passwords and complete freedom to ask each other about anything. Parents should have open access to see their children’s devices while they were living at home or until they are grown and.
• We cannot avoid 100% of all bad influence coming in from technology, but we can do our best to filter out the scum so that it does not rule in our children’s lives.
9. We learn to sing together instead of letting amplified music do all the work entertaining us.
• We have become so professional that everyone else sings for us and majority of Christians have very little participation in singing to God. Singing does us good.
• Worshipping through song is one of the greatest things that we can do. The ancient Hebrews knew this and rehearsed singing to God, making it a large portion of their lifestyle.
• Singing may be one of the very few things that we can do that combines heart, soul, strength and mind as we worship God.
• If singing is so powerful, why do we allow so many technological ways to take our place in singing instead of allowing it to help us participate in singing.
10. In sickness and in health
• Technology can bring distance so much closer and be very useful, but technology cannot replace being present in the most important times of someone’s life.
• One of the best commitments that you could make for someone you love is to show up, to be there for them in person.
• The greatest way you can show love is by being there in person, setting aside all technology for what is more important.
• When we are at our body’s limit, nothing but personal and physical presence will do.