News & Notes This Week

Effectively Parenting Teens: Leading by Example (Huffington Post)
Shamed – A Documentary (Jessica Mockett)
How YOU can help prevent child trafficking (Washington Times)
More churches offer counseling for sex addiction (KEPRTV.com)
Arkansas woman admits guilt in sex trafficking ring (kait8.com)
Good parenting ‘matters more than a good school’ (The Telegraph)
Japan’s child porn addiction (The Independent)
Does your child know he or she has an enemy? (Laura Gallier)
Thoughtful Parenting: The importance of the family dinner (Steamboat Today)
Anti-Cosmo Mission (Nicole Weider)

Parenting the Net Gen

Parenting is always a demanding task, and even more so in the digital age.  Parents need tools and strategies that are in step with the world their kids are growing up in.  Our friends at Covenant Eyes have produced a resource that meets that need.

Parenting the Internet Generation is a compact guide for parents as they navigate, and equip their kids to navigate, the opportunities and challenges of the Internet Age.  With a foreword from Dan Lorhmann, author and Chief Information Security Officer for the state of Michigan, this resource provides the basic information parents need regarding Internet safety, social networking, gaming, and other topics.  It also provides a roadmap for integrity online, and age-appropriate pledges for children to take with their parents as they engage with technology.

Click here for a free download of Parenting the Internet Generation from Covenant Eyes’ website.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.  Proverbs 22:6

Parents & Kids: Agreeing to Agree

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.

See Also:

Freedom: Every Teenager’s Addiction

Your teenager is addicted.  In their book For Parents Only, Shaunti Feldhahn and Lisa Rice say every teen has the same addiction; not to a substance or behavior, but to a concept: freedom.  And every parent of a teen needs to understand that though an adolescent’s obsession with freedom is natural, too many restrictions or too few boundaries can lead to trouble.

This issue, of course, is at the root of what keeps parents up at night, particularly in the technologized environment kids now grow up in.  Ironically, too much freedom is scary for kids, too.  As much as they might kick and scream at boundaries, deep down they want their parents to provide guidelines and communicate expectations (and consequences), particularly regarding weighty issues like sex, relationships, and technology.  As the teenager in this British newspaper article put it, “I wish my parents would say I’m not allowed to be home alone with a boy. I wish they’d say boys aren’t allowed in my bedroom. They make this big deal about ‘trusting us,’ but that’s not helping me. They have no idea what goes on, and I’m too embarrassed to tell them.”

On the subject of helping your kids navigate the increasing levels of freedom and independence they enjoy, Feldhahn and Rice offer the following recommendations to parents:

Continue reading

Parenting Q+A at Watermark Church (TX)

Parenting has always been a tough gig, but it has never been filled with more challenges than it is in the twenty-first century.  Specifically, the pace of technological change and the increasing sexualization of the culture demand more time, attention, and investment from parents than ever before.  Such an environment can leave us feeling like we have more questions than answers.

Answering those questions is a large part of our mission here at pureHOPE.  Our parenting events and resources are designed to provide strategies and solutions to help you guide your kids through the challenges they face.

This video is from a December 2009 event at Watermark Church in Dallas, TX.  pureHOPE’s Rick Schatz joined Watermark staff for a Q+A session after he gave a talk on raising kids in a sexualized culture.  The coversation covers important topics like God’s purposes for sexuality, talking to your kids about sex, and protecting your kids online.

Calling Dads to Lead Courageously

With the film Courageous opening in theaters this Friday, we thought it an appropriate time to highlight this Father’s Day talk given by Dan Martin, pureHOPE’s director of parenting ministries, at Firewheel Church in Garland, TX.  Listen as Dan outlines why and how parents need to engage with their kids as they come of age in a sexually exploitative culture.

“Dads, there’s nothing you can do that is more powerful than inviting your kids to join you in an ongoing pursuit of purity.”  Dan Martin

purePARENTING at Hope Church (OH)

A big thank you to the ministry leaders at Hope Church in Mason, OH, and to all of the parents who attended our two-session purePARENTING series over the last fortnight.  It was a privilege to minister at Hope, and a rich time of equipping and encouraging as we walked through the basics of parenting our kids in the sexualized culture around us.

A special thanks to Todd Hinners, who joined pureHOPE’s Noel Bouché for the technology session.  Todd is a valuable pureHOPE partner, having presented at several of our events now.  He is a network security expert and a parent of three teens, and is a go-to resource for making your home as safe as possible when it comes to your family’s tech use.  You can reach Todd at thinners@hope-church.org.

pureHOPE ministers in churches and schools across the country, equipping and encouraging individuals and families to pursue purity through prayer, understanding, resolve, and engagement.  Contact us at 513.521.6227 or info@purehope.net to inquire about bringing us to your church.