Yesterday my son Jared, who just turned 10, came home from school and said, ” We learned Prezi today!” While I was happy that he had learned a great presentation tool, I had this weird feeling about the fact that he had learned it before I had! My 5th grader could now teach me how to use technology in an area I hadn’t learned yet. This also came right after I had been struggling with finding my way around an unfamiliar WordPress theme all afternoon which had been a source of frustration!
As parents or others who have influence in the lives of children, it is a strange phenomenon that these kids are actually learning technology so young and so quickly. For the first time, I am beginning to feel like Papa Bear of the Berenstain Bears whose kids always seemed to be smarter than their Dad (something I never liked about the books!)
While it can be easy to feel a bit like we can’t keep up at times, the truth is we don’t have to! What we do need to do is apply the same scriptural principles to parenting in the area of technology as we do in other areas of our children’s lives. We don’t need to understand exactly how to use all programs or gadgets in order to influence and guide. (Exception would be that you do need to know the basics, such as if wi-fi is being accessed, if there is interaction with others online and such).
While I highly doubt that Prezi could be a problem, technology overall could lead to issues in a child’s life. I’d like to suggest the following list and website to look over and discuss with your children. What to Do in the Gray Areas by John MacArthur. These principles can and should be applied to every area of our lives as believers and will help determine if technology is becoming problematic in our lives.
Here’s a brief list of the questions we should ask ourselves:
Will it benefit me spiritually?
Will it bring bondage?
Will it defile God’s temple?
Will it cause anyone to stumble?
Will it further the cause of evangelism?
Will it violate my conscience?
Will it bring glory to God?
I encourage you to take a look at the explanations that follow these questions. While they won’t solve our issue of not being smarter than our 5th graders in the technological world, they equip us to parent and train up our children based on solid scripture. I may not be able to keep up with Jared, but I can feel at peace knowing that the Word of God is powerful and will make a difference in his little life when it comes time for him to make decisions in this area.
Now… maybe he can teach me WordPress.