Perhaps the biggest difference for our kids today than in generations past is the boom of technology. I was a child when my father brought home our first home computer, a giant box of a machine that ran DOS. I was much older when the internet became available. So, you and I remember a time without technology, but our children do not. Overuse of screen time, overstimulation via screens, and peer pressure for those without them has become a very real source of anxiety for our kids and teenagers. Whether they have their own phone or social media or not, our children are feeling immense pressure to compete and keep up.
Fear of missing out is a real issue in their lives. It’s important to plan ahead for your family regarding rules of technology—when your child will get their first phone, what apps will be allowed, what responsibilities are expected while they have it, etc.—and stick to that plan so your kid knows what to expect. Navigating the world of social media and technology without a plan is foolish. We have to protect our kids and teenagers, while also preparing them for life online. We can’t shelter them from it forever, but we can speak with them on godly conduct and on healthy expectations—and we must.
8. The Future and Change
Our children and teenagers today struggle with change—largely due to how many changes have been going on around them, without their consent. Feeling out of control is alarming even for adults—how much more so for our kids? And these last few years, change has been an unfortunate given. Because of this, they also struggle with anxiety over the future. What will change next? What will be out of their control next? It’s easy for these fears to take over emotionally and even manifest into physical symptoms if not reined in. As parents, we can’t control everything either, but we can point our kids to the One who does.
Teaching our children to go to the Lord with their fears, anxieties, and stress over all the unknown and uncontrollable things now as kids provide them with a how-to map for when they face those same struggles as adults. We have a window of opportunity right now to teach our children to build their security not on the world, government, politics, or even friendships and family, but on the solid rock and foundation of Christ alone.
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