As parents we make plans for lots of things in our lives that effect our whole family. Things such as careers, our house, city in which we live, schools for our kids, religious beliefs, tutors, and extracurriculars such as sports, theater, dance, or scouts. But do we make a plan for the very things that they spend, on average, 6-9 hours a day with?
Most families let technology and devices with screens become a free-for-all or a "wild west" of the Web. However,with a Family Technology Plan families will be able to begin talking about these issues and devices. How they are used by family members, where they are used, and the expectations of using them are all elements of creating a Family Technology Plan. A Family Technology Plan also allows parents the ability to ask questions and gain understanding about the technology they are bringing into their homes.
Parenting can be learned from books, teachers, blogs, or even conferences. However, most parents will often parent based on the way they were parented. Although this leaves parents today at a disadvantage because they were never parented on technology, computers, cell phones, tablets, and/or video game systems. Instead, most parents today have become the child when it comes to screen devices and their children are teaching them how to use their cell phones and/or computer. This has to stop!
Parents today need to take back the role of parenting when it comes to technology. This will require parents to be more active and proactive. They are going to have to learn about apps and websites before they let their children experience them. They are going to have to keep learning about this so they can help their children when issues come about. They are going to have to monitor what is on their child's devices. Otherwise our children are going to damage their minds, bodies, and futures if they are not guided on how to use and interact with the technology around them. A Family Technology Plan is not the end-all solution but it is the starting point for families to begin discussing the dangers of technology and how to properly use it.
Technology and families are a passion for me. As a current Middle School Student Minister I understand that the family structure is the greatest way for children to grow into healthy adults. My goal is not to come and parent for you but to teach, prepare, and give input for parents to be the implementers of The Plan. Before and while I have been a Student Minister I have had many opportunities to be surrounded by technology. Below is a small sample resume for myself.
2003-2005 Middle School Student Leader - Springfield, IL
2004-2006 GameStop Assistant Manager
2005-2009 Middle School Student Minister - Virden, IL
2005-2009 Radio Host/Technology & Video Game Reviewer
2009-2012 Expert Apple Retail
2012-Present Middle School Student Minister - Houston, TX