Should you allow your child free and unrestricted access to a cell phone?
I told my kids: "There is a freeze on cell phones".
My older son then responded.
"Daddy, there is one class where the teacher insists that we have a phone or iPad, etc."
I am keenly aware of the fact that as parents we are engaged in a warfare.
I am also aware of the difficulty in addressing this issue as there are so many variables to consider.
We are in the age of the smartphone. This is not just a gadget used to make phone calls only, but a miniature computer, where the child has access to the world wide web. The child is literally trotting on an information highway, exposed to both the good and the bad.
With the use of the phone, the child may be bombarded with limitless distractions, all beckoning for his attention. Through videos and the written word, other voices are literally preaching to him, inculcating in his impressionable mind messages that get stored in the sub-conscious. These are messages that can later dictate or influence how he responds to other circumstances in his life.
[How do children learn? Children learn by observation and participation. Hence, the importance of role models in their lives].
The constant use of the phone, especially in the home, robs them of your presence with them. The quality and quantity time you should spend interacting with them "around your table" (Psalm 128: 3) is woefully compromised.
They learn not so much by what you say, as by what you do, when "you rise up, lay down and walk by the way" (See Deuteronomy 6: 6,7). This is God's principal model of training children (by example), because God knows they learn through modeling, through observation.
I have observed that the less time my children spend on gadgets, the more fulfilling, impactful, and meaningful are my interactions with them.
There is less influence by other voices that threaten to neutralize my messages to them. There is less distraction to confuse them. There is less exposure to demonic forces that are calculated to destroy their mental and emotional well-being.
So friends, let us be careful how we invite another "parent" in our home to train our children for us. We may awake one day to the stark reality that, instead of becoming Christians through our interactions with them, they have been trained to become vagabonds, emotional wrecks, and another mentally deranged statistic.
Scriptural references: Psalm 128: 3.
Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table.
Deut. 6: 6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.