It happens to the best of us. We have the alerts, parenting control apps, and we review what our child texts, watches, and posts, regularly. And still, now and then we find a weird app we don’t recognize, or they ask for something we’ve never heard of, or we hear of a new ‘dangerous’ social media platform that is out to get our kids. What are we to do?
Here are four tips to help you decide to approve or dismiss a new app or platform for your kids.
- Ask ‘why.’ Sit down with your child and discuss with them why they want the app (or have the app if you have found it on their phone.) Have a conversation about the benefits and the negatives of the app. Perhaps this will cause the student to realize they don’t need it anyway or it will give you more clarity as to why they think it’s important.
- Check out the reviews. Read the reviews of the app in the app store, check out resources like CommonSense Media or parenting sites. Remember, these are just opinions or guidelines not the ‘law’ on the matter, however.
- Check the fine print. Take a look at the terms of service with your teen. Some of them have age or other restrictions that would prohibit them from having the app. You can use this as an opportunity to discuss with them why apps have those guidelines in the first place.
- Pray. Of course, you don’t have to do this last. Praying throughout this process is probably a good idea. God knows what we need and what our children desire. He is best equipped to give us wisdom and discernment on how to use the various tools and technology around us to His glory.
And that’s a good question to ask as well, “How can this app help me or my child bring God glory?” If it can’t, well maybe there’s your answer.