Kidswise Kidswise Your partner in children’s ministry

#1: Think as a family about how you can use the internet to reflect Biblical principles and values. Look back at these again and again, so your children understand why we do what we do. Do you "like" sites with wholesome material? With wholesome names?

#2: Enjoy the cyber world together. Spend time with your child looking at clips, playing games together and searching the web. Show a genuine interest in what interests your child.

#3: Spend time offline together. Have set times (dinner, movie nights, game nights) where all family members put away their phones (put them in a “cyber basket”, on silent, vibrations off, so notifications can't be heard). As well as having fun as a family, this models discipline and self control.

#4: When you read the Bible on your device (smart phone, tablet...) does your child know you’re reading God’s Word? Bible apps are great and convenient. However, children benefit from seeing their parents read the Bible in paper form. This removes any confusion as to what you are doing. If regularly reading the Bible or praying using a prayer diary on a device, occasionally communicate to your child what you’re doing.

#5: Place computers in dining or family rooms (not bedrooms). Have filtering software fitted ( and develop the habit of handing in devices before going to bed.

#6: Encourage and model honesty. Allowing your child to join social networking sites before the minimum age (by giving a false date of birth) tells them that it’s fine to break rules if they don't agree with them. Minimum age for all is 13 years.

#7: When they are old enough to use social media know your child's password. Let them know you’ll randomly check their emails, the sites they visited and their online communication. Not because you don’t trust them, but because you want to be involved in all aspects of their life, and to guide and protect them as they explore the online world.

#8: Be your child's "friend" on social networking sites. Have your child "friend" other relatives whom you trust, who can model appropriate language, discussions and shared sites. Make it a requirement that your child knows all their social networking friends in person.

#9: Talk about how people can be someone they're not on the internet (thus #8) and how your child's profile should reflect who they are at all times.

#10: Talk with your child about potential issues – cyber bullying, stalking – before they arise. Discuss different possible scenarios and how they could be dealt with. Never blame your child for an issue but rather work through it with them. Open communication is vital.

by Kathryn Kettlewell ©2015 Kidswise

Recommended Resources
Cyber Parenting, by J & S Boswell
Safe Ministry Training Course Although designed to train leaders in both Childrens and Youth Ministry, it is an excellent course for parents in understanding how best to keep children safe.
Child Sexual Abuse And The Churches, by Patrick Parkinson An honest and compelling look at the seriousness of child sexual abuse, with advise for parents on how to best protect their children.

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