I am Exhausted Trying to Monitor My Child’s Media Activity!

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Doug Hutchins is the Founder of Going Transparent. We asked Doug to write for MPL because his emphasis is on practical steps kids and parents alike can take to promote transparency. He also knows more than anyone we have met about kids and social media. In addition to spending countless hours with teens, Doug also consults with parents on the ins and outs of the latest technology trends involving our kids. Interested in developing a custom purity strategy for your family? Doug can be reached at doug@goingtransparent.com. 

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You probably have felt this way if you have ever tried to:

  • Navigate through the parental control settings on your TV.
  • Find out who your child is texting, tweeting, and talking to.
  • Install internet filters on computers, tablets, or smart phones. (It is frustrating when the internet filter blocks “good” websites, slows down the computer, or does not block 100% of the inappropriate content.)
  •  Monitor their social media activity by following them on Instagram and friending them on Facebook. (What other accounts does my child have?)
  • Collect their CDs and online music so that you can hear what they are listening to.

It is exhausting to do all these things and then find out that your child was exposed to inappropriate stuff while at a friend’s house. Frustrating!

The first thing that I want you to know is that you are not alone if you have ever felt this way. Every family for which I have developed a custom purity strategy has said that they felt “exhausted” trying to monitor their child’s media activity. These families have children between the ages of 7 and 18. I want to share with you four things that I have been recommending to these families to make things a little less exhausting.

What are the Parental Control Capabilities? 

This is a great question to ask before buying a product. For example, Netflix is a low-cost way to stream movies and shows straight to your phone, tablet, and TV. Unfortunately, the parental control settings are very limited, and it is difficult to restrict what your child is watching. What are the parental control capabilities of Netflix’s competitor, Amazon Instant Video? There are more capabilities. Amazon Instant Video allows parents to password protect inappropriate shows and movies. Parents can place different levels of restrictions on different devices.

Purchase Technology That You Are Familiar With

Will your child’s smart phone have an iOS (iPhone) operating system or an Android operating system? I suggest getting your child the type of operating system that you are comfortable and familiar with using. If you have an iPhone, then he/she gets an iPhone. Many parents want to protect their child on his/her phone, but they do not know where to begin because their child has Android and they are used to an iPhone. Stick with technology that you know.

Where is the #1 Place Temptation Strikes? 

Where will Satan tempt your children to sin? I believe the bedroom is the #1 place temptation strikes. This is where your children are most vulnerable because they are completely alone. With this in mind, focus on promoting transparency in the bedroom. Prepare for the question, “Mom, can we bring our phones/iPads/laptops into our rooms at night?” Consider removing the locks from bedroom doors as this will promote transparency. It may be a good idea to keep the TV in the living room rather than the bedroom.

Collaborate 

I believe that there is an incredible opportunity for us, as the Body of Christ, to collaborate and share ideas on ways to protect our children. Be the one who sparks the discussion with your friends and at your church.

The exhaustion that you are experiencing is for a noble cause. Keep doing whatever it takes to protect your child’s mind. It is worth it!

Doug Hutchins

doug@goingtransparent.com