Now that I have your attention . . .
If you’ve given your child — or teenager — a smartphone or tablet without constant, close supervision, you could be asking for trouble. Big trouble. Yet another study was just released, disclosing the harmful effects of giving regular smart device access to a child or teen. In some ways, you might as well give them a loaded gun, without teaching them how to handle it. Is using your smartphone making your child — or teenager — stupid?
I’m not using the word “stupid” in a derogatory way. I mean it in the classic sense that you could be diminishing your child’s ability to reach his or her greatest social, emotional and spiritual potential — or worse — without realizing it. It’s time to really, really think about this before it’s too late, and make adjustments so you are using your smart devices wisely.
BLESS YOUR FRIENDS BY THEM SHARING THIS
ON FACEBOOK, BY EMAIL OR TEXT.
Research is emerging, again, to suggest that children who use a smart device often, without constant, direct adult supervision, will suffer in many, many ways. Is your lax attitude toward a smart device hurting your child? It could be — and you are responsible to stop the nonsense — now.
“Between 2010 and 2016, the number of adolescents who experienced at least one major depressive episode leapt by 60%, according to a nationwide survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The 2016 survey of 17,000 kids found that about 13% of them had a major depressive episode, compared to 8% of the kids surveyed in 2010. Suicide deaths among people age 10 to 19 have also risen sharply, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Young women are suffering most; a CDC report released earlier this year showed suicide among teen girls has reached 40-year highs. All this followed a period during the late-1990s and early 2000s when rates of adolescent depression and suicide mostly held steady or declined.”
“‘These increases are huge—possibly unprecedented,’ says Jean Twenge, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University and author of iGen, which examines how today’s super-connected teens may be less happy and less prepared for adulthood than past generations. In a peer-reviewed study that will appear later this year in the journal Clinical Psychological Science, Twenge shows that, after 2010, teens who spent more time on new media were more likely to report mental health issues than those who spent time on non-screen activities.” — TIME HEALTH
DON’T DUMB DOWN YOUR CHILD
Your smart phone is not a baby sitting device or a good role model. As a pastor, I see so many parents who hand their child a smart phone when interacting with others, as a means of enabling the parent to interact with another person. STOP IT! My pastor friends and I counsel parents and guardians all the time, and have to comfort them and their children for the consequences of using smart technology foolishly.
Your child or teenager should not have unmonitored used of a smart phone or tablet, especially if it has internet access. If you allow this, you are . . . stupid. There, I said it. To be clear, I mean “stupid” with all due respect, in the sense that the way you are dispensing a smart device to your child could very well be hindering his or her best chances of being emotionally, spiritually and socially healthy.
I’d rather be the brunt of your angst for a moment, by speaking frankly, than say nothing and have you learn the hard way and suffer long-term consequences. I can tell you from the people we pastors are counseling: there will be hell to pay if you are unwise in how you use smart devices with your child or teen. It’s time to wise up — starting right now. Don’t let another day pass without making changes!
A smart device is no substitute for real human interaction, a book, or a game played without an electronic device. In fact, it may be far worse. You may be using your smartphone or tablet in ways that will negatively, permanently, damage the most precious gift ever given you: your child.
If you’ve given your teenager a smart phone, and think they know how to handle it and don’t closely monitor their use — daily — you’re out of your mind.
Keep in mind that many teens can start off with a good moral compass, but can easily be led astray with the passage of time. That time may pass more quickly than you realize. A teenager can be led astray in a very short time. Shame on the parent or guardian who is the source of the wandering. If that’s you, it’s time to ask God for forgiveness and change your ways.
WHAT ABOUT PUSHBACK?
Never mind the pushback you may get from your teen by imposing new, appropriate oversight. They may think you’re being too strict — but research is on your side. It proves that oversight is not just important; it’s imperative.
Your teen may grumble now, but they’ll thank you later. Moreover, God sees what you’re doing to your teen for better or worse, and will hold each of us accountable for how we parent. (Consider 2 Corinthians 10:5).
“Smart technology” can be used foolishly. It is no substitute for real human interaction, a book, or a game played without an electronic device. And, do you realize that internet access gives your child or teen UNHINDERED access to a universe of smut that could lead them into a cesspool, creating deep addictions that will haunt them for the rest of their lives? Is it time for you to wake up?
There, I said it, and it needed to be said. You probably know someone who needs to think long and hard about this, and make changes in their parenting. Janet and I encourage you to share this, so you can spare a parent or child a life of remorse they could easily, and totally avoid — if only you took heed.
HAVE YOU BEEN USING SMART TECHNOLOGY IN DUMB WAYS? IS YOUR USE OF YOUR SMARTPHONE OR TABLET HINDERING YOUR CHILD? THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR WAYS AND SPARE YOUR CHILD OR TEEN A LIFETIME OF UNNECESSARY HARDSHIP. IT REALLY IS UP TO YOU . . .
ABOUT ME: Most of the lessons I’ve learned in life I’ve learned through failure. I publish my blogs here and on Facebook. We welcome and read comments from readers just like you because they help us (and others) think and grow. Don’t be shy. Chime in.
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