Would you hand your child a rattlesnake? Of course you wouldn’t! Rattlesnake bites can be deadly. What kind of question is that? I would never hand my child something I knew had the power to destroy them, would you?
For some time now the effects of technology on our children has weighed heavy on my mind. We see our children struggling to even know how to communicate. We see children together, but they might as well be home alone because there was no communication between them, instead they all set completely lost in their device, scrolling through Instagram, snapchatting, taking a selfie, or playing the latest, greatest game. We’ve seen a rise in depression and loneliness in this generation from the effects of it. The only friendships some seem to create are virtual.
Now if those things were the only issues with technology there might would be an argument on the deadliness of it.
Lack of communication, Instagram, snapchat, taking a selfie, or playing a game may not be deadly altogether, but the effects of it very well can be if there are no limits set. When I was a child we didn’t deal with technology like we do today, and I thank God for it. I didn’t have to struggle with it, and my parents didn’t have to deal with having to protect us from that. The internet wasn’t in our home and I don’t recall even knowing there was such a thing until after I was married. Move forward a few generations and now technology basically controls our world. It’s everywhere, and it draws our children more than anything I know of. Many restaurants have it on their tables, you can now use it to order a cheeseburger at McDonald’s, many of the toys we buy our children are somehow connected to it. It has become our #1 babysitter. It is so dominant that we feel everything has to somehow be connected to it to really make our children happy. As a mother I agree with anyone that it’s tough dealing with it. I honestly wish it would just go away because it would make raising my children so much easier.
By now you may be asking yourself what any of this has to do with rattlesnakes, let me explain.
Here (your Childs name) is your first device, (iPhone, iPod, iPad, etc.) Congratulations! I know you are only twelve, but I went ahead and bought the latest device, with the latest technology on it. I know I can set restrictions on it, or even turn your internet off, but I want you to know that I trust you. I know many of your school friends, and possibly even some church friends have no restrictions and I don’t want you feeling left out. Their parents trust them, and I trust you. I know you can handle this! Now be careful because there are things you don’t need to see or become involved in, but again, I trust you. Here is your “rattlesnake“, enjoy.
Your child is now eighteen and has been addicted to pornography since he or she was thirteen. They’ve seen so much violence with the games they’ve played, the videos they’ve watched, and the filth they have seen has infiltrated their innocent minds. Freedom from it seems impossible! The battles they are fighting in their minds are driving them to the breaking point with sleepless nights, immorality, and some even thoughts of suicide. As a parent you wondered why your child seemed distant, depressed or secretive at times, but you put the blame on the adolescent years. You knew what a great child they was, and even tho from time to time you casually mentioned the dangers of the device, you felt they were strong enough to handle the temptations behind the screen. Instead they’ve been bitten by the “snake” that has proved to be deadly to so many innocent children.
In reality your child feels hurt because you handed them such a deadly device you trusted them with, and never set any restrictions or boundaries for them.
You’ve created a monster for them to fight, possibly for the rest of their lives. You want to be mad at them because you trusted them, but instead they broke that trust and looked up such things during those curious years…how dare they do that!! Parents, in reality I wouldn’t blame your child for crushing the device in front of you, and saying thanks!! Thanks for trusting me, by trusting me I’ve almost been destroyed. I struggle to think straight, I struggle to know what normal even is. The “rattlesnake” that I was bitten by almost proved to be deadly. Why didn’t you tell me how venomous the device could be? Dad and Mom, I will never get those pictures out of my mind. I wish you hadn’t trusted me so much. I wish you had set boundaries for me, had restrictions turned on, or completely turned the internet off. Dad and Mom you were right, I was a good kid, but good kids are curious and can’t hold a deadly snake without being bitten.
What price are you willing to pay for your child to fit in? Are you more concerned about hurting their feelings, or making them feel like you don’t trust them?
This was written from the heart of a mother that is trying to raise her children in a Godly, Christian home while dealing with technology. I find myself revisiting boundaries and restrictions often. My children don’t own phones, but my fourteen year old son has an iPad. We keep his internet turned completely off, and YouTube is definitely a no-no. We make sure there are no violent games, and I check his messages from friends almost daily, but I question myself often if that is enough.
If I thought my child was holding a rattlesnake I would do everything in my power to remove it from his hands before he was bitten.
If you are a Parent or guardian of a child and technology looms over your home, would you consider revisiting your boundaries and restrictions? If you have no boundaries, or restrictions can I remind you that what you’ve given your child is as harmful as the snake I mentioned. Consider the innocence of your child and the damage that this “bite” can do to him or her. Also, remember the snake doesn’t go to sleep at midnight.
“The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame .” Proverbs 29:15 KJV
Written By: Chera Guthrie