Just last week, our wise friend, Dr. Katherine Koonce, came to speak to our staff at Daystar on Technology and it’s effect on kids today. Katherine is the Academic Dean at a local school we love, Christ Presbyterian Academy. She’s a woman we love to laugh with and learn from.
We wanted to share a few of Katherine’s tips with you. One is her brilliant phrase, teenagers today “self-reveal before they self-reflect.” This is a great phrase to discuss with your child—any child who is old enough or has the capability to self-reveal online. Talk to them about what it would look like to pause—and THINK before they post, whether it’s a picture, a tweet, a video, or even an emoji. Just a one second pause, Katherine asserts, and we agree, can make all the difference.
We also wanted to share with you a trick she taught us that we believe can help you immensely. On your (actually, their) iphone, under settings, go to the general bar. Scroll down a little, and there is a section called restrictions. Turn those restrictions on. You can set your own passcode that your child does not know. Maybe stay away from spelling your dog’s name, your street address, or your child’s birthday. (Kids excel at hacking from very young ages). Once you’ve set a restriction passcode, you can decide whether or not you want to give your child the ability to install apps. If your child is younger, this means they would have to talk to you, and you would have to enable their phone before they can install any app. If your child is any age, you can disable their ability to delete apps. This means you will know what they’ve downloaded and you can stay abreast of whatever apps they’ve been using on their phones.
As with all technology restrictions, if you use these tips, PLEASE INFORM YOUR CHILD. Katherine would say the same. They will make a much bigger deal out of the fact that you “violated their privacy,” if you catch them doing something than the fact that they’ve disobeyed you. Let them know and talk to them about why. Conversations are one of the best tools to teach kids responsible technological use. And follow us for more Technology Tuesday’s. We’ll do our best (and share the best from our wise friends like Katherine) to keep you informed.
And, if you’re a local parent, we wholeheartedly recommend Katherine’s parenting series which is free and open to the public, Learning about Learning. You can get more information here.