The more we talk to parents the more tension we hear about raising kids in a technology-filled world! This is why we’re taking FIVE (yes, five!) episodes to untangle the topic. We start with important, foundational thoughts and then move to practical ideas any parent can use.
Each episode comes with a set of questions to fuel a conversation with your spouse, friend group, or other set of parents! We’ve also included other useful resources to help you learn even more.
What are your personal experiences and relationship with technology? How addicted or averse are YOU to your devices?
As you consider your kids, where do you fall on the technology pendulum? Are you more likely to see devices as a non-issue or are you hyper-concerned? Does it vary? Why?
What are you emotions and experience when it comes to parenting around technology?
In what ways do you relate to the idea of being a “digital immigrant?” How are you resistant or reluctant to embracing the new “motherland?”
In what ways do you see your kids exhibiting the characteristics of a “digital native?” Which of their practices worry you most? Which excite or encourage you most?
In what ways can you connect with your kids THIS WEEK to understand more of their world? What specific app/game/YouTube star is an opportunity for them to teach to you?
BOOK: Right Click: Parenting Your Teenager In A Digital Media World by Dr. Kara Powell, Art Bamford, Brad M Griffin
Which POSITIVE benefits of technology have you seen in your home? Consider the positive impact of technology to time management, efficiency, and personal connections)
Which NEGATIVE repercussions have you felt in your home? (Consider the negative impact on time management, efficiency, and personal connections)
Ask your KIDS these questions, too! What did you learn from their thoughts?
What factor does FEAR play in your approach to giving your kids digital opportunities?
What adjustments do you feel like you should, at least, CONSIDER making to your current thinking about technology?
This episode reminds us that our ultimate parenting goal for technology is “the same as it is with most other categories of parenting… maturity. The goal is to lead our kids to the point where they are equipped to fully embrace the responsibility that comes with freedom and opportunity.” How does this challenge make you think or feel? How is it different or similar to other facets of parenting?
BOOK: The Tech Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place by Andy Crouch
How would you define “digital maturity?” How might it differ from the episode?
From your perspective, which seems to be the biggest challenge for your kids:
WHEN they use it.
- What times or environments seem to provide the greatest challenge? What ideas have you tried to bring attention to inappropriate times to be on screens?
HOW MUCH they use it.
- What current parameters do you currently maintain about quantity of screen use? How well is it working? What makes it challenging?
WHY they use it.
- What are some deeper reasons you feel your kids are attracted to technology? What detrimental appetites might it feed? What conversations might help get to the bottom of their needs and intent?
Ask your kids to identify their challenges in the WHEN/HOW MUCH/WHY categories, too. What did they say? Did their perceptions match yours? Which of the three are YOUR greatest challenges with technology?
How do you rate your ability to discuss your family tech struggles? Share your best practices to normalizing and making the conversation easier and more effective.
- 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You by Tony Reinke
- Screens and Teens: Connecting with Our Kids in a Wireless World by Kathy Koch
What current digital guidelines do you currently have for your family? What seems to be working best? Which seem to be least effective?
Which specific ideas in the episode felt intriguing to try? Which, if any, felt unseasonable or unrealistic? Why?
What software, parental guidance, or filtering solutions have you tried? What are your experiences with them?
Share some ideas to might encourage and prompt healthy discussion as a family around digital issues. Where? When? How?
Share some ideas how your family has taken advantage of technology to BUILD connections together.
A piece of advice in this episode was to “share your heart” with your kids when things get tenuous. This means being able to explain why the conversation around technology is both important and emotional for you. In your own words, what words would you use to “share your heart” with your child about your relationships to them and to technology?
For those of you considering WHEN to give your kid a phone, what piece of advice felt most helpful?
For those of you who have already granted your kid a phone, what was your process leading to that point? What do you wish you HAD done but didn’t?
Think about your specific kids for a second. What evidence of maturity or responsibility do you currently see in them (even if is it a small amount)?
What challenges does or might your kid face with technology based on his or her specific wiring and/or type? What advantages might your kid have due to wiring or type?
In light of this series:
What have been your biggest takeaways through this podcast series?
What conversations do you desire to initiate with your kids?
What changes or additions do you want to make?
What other adults will you continue having this conversation with on a regular basis?
THANKS FOR JOURNEYING WITH US!!!
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