Most parents we talk to across the country express concern, if not a feeling of helplessness, about their kids’ use of technology, especially mobile devices. This is for good reason, of course; for all the benefits, the tools at the disposal of the average teenager carry many risks and temptations, as articles like this, this, and this document well.
While there are many steps parents can take to monitor, limit, filter, and deactivate with respect to devices and Internet access, the most important remains cultivating open and honest communication between yourself and your kids. Nothing replaces an ongoing,
grace-based dialogue that addresses the topics of sex, technology, expectations, purpose, boundaries, and consequences, all in the context of honoring and loving God in our thoughts, words, and actions (Romans 12:1-2).
To that end, we’ve created a simple document–a safe-use agreement–for parents to use as a communication tool with their teens. By reviewing and signing this agreement together, parents and kids can arrive at a meeting of the minds regarding the privilege of tech use, the expectations and duties surrounding that privilege, and the consequences of abuse of that privilege. In taking this one, simple step and following it up with consistent dialogue, parents are taking a giant leap with respect to equipping their kids to walk with wisdom, discernment, and integrity in the sexualized, technology-driven age they are living.