4 things to know before giving your child a digital device for christmas

Josh GilmanChildren, Home Safety

Many children will receive just what they wanted for christmas this year. An iPhone, or a Tablet, maybe even a laptop or an xbox. And while all these devices obviously have legitimate uses. They each also come with a direct pipeline to all the porn in the world.

Here are 4 things you need to do before & after giving them the device.

1. Ask if it’s necessary

Ask yourself if the child really wants/needs it. We sometimes assume our children want the latest iPhone or whatever. Some of them don’t. I’ve heard from more than a few teenagers that gave the phone back to their parents or asked for a flip phone.

2. Don’t single out your child

Is your home protected in general? You’ll likely want to talk to your kid about using Covenant Eyes, or some other filter and accountability software on their device. But have you already set a precedent by having software on your home devices as well as your own? When you only install software on your child’s device, you’re telling them that it’s not porn that is the problem, it’s THEM.

New rules for new toys don’t go over well with kids. Continuation and consistency with family rules are far easier to understand. If you haven’t already, download Covenant Eyes, and purchase DNSThingy or KidsWifi. If you’re spending the money to give your child an amazing gift, spend the money to protect them and your entire home.

3. Have a conversation

Many times we can speak to our children out of fear, which only serves to make them feel afraid. By speaking about big bad pornography and all the dangers out there, we can end up scaring our kids, making their new device a burden. Instead, use the opportunity to have a calm honest conversation with your children about the internet, and pornography, and that you trust them.

4. Don’t “trust them”

Not to contradict the last point, but sometimes we think that what kids want is to “be trusted”, meaning we give them something heavy, and tell them we trust them to carry it and never drop it. “I trust you. I trust that you won’t look at pornography.” Your child now feels the pressure of not letting you down by never ever messing up.

Rather, say “I love you, and anytime you need to talk to me about anything, or if you see something, you can talk to me. No matter what. I’ll love you.” This way we are telling them that we trust their heart and their motives.