6 Digital Boundaries To Protect Your Child Online

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Due to inappropriate use of media by children while on campus, a middle school principal sent the following email to the parents of the school children because he wanted to encourage parents to check their child’s media access:

Dear Parents,
I am sending this out to all of you to make you aware of an issue that is becoming more of a concern in all middle schools. Since our return from winter break we have had multiple issues concerning social networking that I want you to be aware of including: students posting images of other students, writing inappropriate comments, posting videos, bullying, etc. These all have an effect on student safety. I am asking all of our parents for support in this matter by taking a few minutes this weekend to have a conversation with your child about social networking and their use of it.

That’s good advice!

The days of parents just needing to check their children’s email or Facebook page are over; there are new social sites created every day. I loudly echo what a friend wrote to me:

It is important to talk to your child about the social media sites and also to monitor your child’s cell phone, iPod, tablet, computer, etc., and to  continue to remind your child that whatever is posted online, even for just a second, can be very permanent and travel quickly around the world. Even though a child may think they can simply “delete” what they have posted . . . it is not that simple. Once something has been posted online, it may be in the hands of one or more persons forever.

Two verses come to mind as we talk about setting digital boundaries for our children. The first is Proverbs 22:3 and the second is Proverbs 27:12. Although we discussed Proverbs 27:12 in the previous chapter, there’s a reason I want to repeat it here: There is something unique about these two verses. See if you can find it.

A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences. Proverbs 22:3

A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences. Proverbs 27:12

I hope you saw what was unique about these two verses. Any similarities? LOL. They are not only similar—they are identical! If you have two verses that repeat themselves, it may be worth our attention. (As a sidebar: To those who say the Bible is not relevant in today’s world, excuse me for a moment while I get my soapbox. Okay, now that I have it, let me say that it’s amazing how relevant the Bible is for today’s modern family! These two verses fit hand in glove to the topic we are talking about in this section.) Simply put, we need to be prudent parents.

The following are six digital boundaries to protect our children online

1. Keep computers, tablets and game consoles in an open space.
2. Set appropriate limits for daily screen time.
3. Children must not sign up for anything unless they get permission.
4. Charge mobile devices in an open location overnight.
5. When family time is on, all media is off.
6. Randomly check your child’s texts.

Do you have any of the six boundaries for your children? Is there a boundary that you have to protect your children online that's not one of the six above? Would you share it?

You can read more about each of these six topics in “Faith and The Modern Family: How to Raise a Healthy Family in A Modern World.”