Raising Faithful Children in a Digital Era

Raising Faithful Children in a Digital Era

By Cheryl Mah

In this era which is dominated by digital technology, our children are inevitably growing up surrounded by screens, gadgets and connected devices. As Christian parents trying to instil good values in our children, this represents a huge hurdle to overcome, and navigating the digital landscape can feel like a daunting task. Nevertheless, with intentionality and guidance, it is possible to raise our children to engage with digital media in a way that aligns with our Christian values.

1. Setting Boundaries
First and foremost, it is crucial to establish very clear boundaries with our children regarding screen time, content and the use of gadgets – which includes smartphones, gaming devices, televisions and computers etc.

Parents should set limits and guidelines on when and how much time our children spend on their digital activities, and ensure such activities do not interfere with family time or spiritual activities. We must make certain that our children consume age-appropriate content and we can go a step further by implementing parental control on devices to monitor and protect our children from harmful and unsuitable content.

2. Teaching Discernment
Parents bear the responsibility of teaching our children to discern between positive and negative content that they encounter online.

Sometimes, children may inexplicably stumble upon harmful or inappropriate online content, however, this opportunity should be seized to equip our children with the skills to navigate such a situation. Instead of avoiding such a conversation altogether, let us engage our children in open conversations about the beliefs and values portrayed in the media, and share about how those conflict with our Christian faith.

3. Modelling Healthy Digital Habits
Parents are the first teachers of our children, hence we serve as role models for them. Demonstrating healthy digital habits is important as we have the ability to influence our children’s behaviour and beliefs.

Although most of us have to be digitally engaged for work or other purposes, we must be deliberate in prioritising quality face-to-face time with our children away from screens or gadgets. At family meals or gatherings, limit the use of devices by engaging in offline activities together. Additionally, parents need to be mindful of the content we consume and share online, as our children often emulate our behaviour.

4. Using Digital Media for Good
Digital media is not always a bad thing. In fact, many Christian communities use it as an instrument for reaching out and engaging audiences. Likewise, we can use digital media as a tool for spiritual growth and education in our families.

Media-savvy parents can seek out faith-based apps, websites and resources that reinforce Christian values and teachings for learning and connection. With help and guidance from us, our children are able to share their faith and positive messages through digital storytelling and via social media platforms. In online faith communities, we may also connect with like-minded peers and mentors who can offer support for our faith journey.

In a world where digital media plays a significant role in the lives of our children, guiding them to navigate this landscape with faith and wisdom is vital. Through setting boundaries, filtering content, role modelling healthy digital habits, and embracing technology for good, we can stay rooted in our Christian faith and raise faithful children who can shine God’s light in the digital age.

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
– Proverbs 22:6