October 11, 2013

When It’s Time To Pull The Plug

Don’t worry! I’m not yelling at you today. But I do want to share some information and concerns with you about an extremely relevant and important topic to do with […]

Don’t worry! I’m not yelling at you today. But I do want to share some information and concerns with you about an extremely relevant and important topic to do with our kids.

First let me ask, do you have a cell phone? In today’s world, most likely you do, and so does your whole family. Technology is definitely a wonderful thing allowing us to easily keep in contact with loved ones who are far away…or in the next room!

Some parents appreciate the peace of mind they get from giving their kids a cell phone for emergencies and to keep track of them when they aren’t at home. In fact, 89% of teens today have a cell phone, 69% of preteens have one and even 31% of elementary school kids do!

And those stats are almost a year old… they keep changing so quickly and are even higher now! As a parent, I’m 100% on board with any great idea to do whatever feels right for us to keep our children safe.

But while a cell phone acts as a security blanket for some, it also comes with a lot of negative side effects. I think we’ve all seen the post-Christmas stories that show Twitter and Facebook comments from teens complaining about getting the wrong color iPhone as a gift. But that is just the tip of the iceberg!

The Huffington Post, Mayo Clinic and tons of other sources have cited documented scientific studies showing how mobile phones wreck sleeping patterns. In fact, using any electronic gadget just before you go to bed can cause real problems with your sleep.

Not to mention those who allow their kids to sleep with the phone actually in their bed, open their child’s developing brain to exposure and effects of radiation. Add to that the sleep disruptions as constant updates from texts, email and social media sites continue to come through all night long and it’s like a freight train driving through their bedrooms!

While studies haven’t positively proven cell phone radiation causes longterm damage (yet), they do show that sleep cycles are most definitely disrupted. And sleep is one of the most vital things your growing child needs!

Even worse, new studies suggest a link between kids using their cell phones and ADHD symptoms. And then on top of this, you have to consider your older kids texting while driving, sexting and whatever the newest scandal or study is out there. In fact, for the first time ever, adults surveyed stated that texting while driving now poses a greater traffic safety hazard than driving after a drink or two!

As a parent, you are responsible for teaching your children good habits. Is your kid or teen addicted to texting or on the computer a lot? You might think it is harmless, but the effect it has on their social, academic and psychological health could have detrimental consequences that will affect them for the rest of their lives!

Have you ever seen families out to dinner where every family member has their phone out, totally disengaged from one another? They may even be taking from your example! Be sure to take the lead and set healthy boundaries on the technology use in your household. ALWAYS set a limit!

One of the latest trends designed specifically to help people to learn how to once again interact with live people, is called the “phone stack.” Everyone dining out has to put their phone – face down — on a stack in the middle of the table and the first person to look, respond to a text or email or answer a call, has to pick up the check for the entire table’s dinner. Can you believe we’ve come to this?

And, we’re setting an entire generation on a path where learning how to actually sit and interact with a “live” person has become a “taught” skill! But, it isn’t too late, start laying the ground work tonight! Go home and talk to your kids, or explain to them why you are waiting to buy them a phone. Seriously, if it is just for safety do they need more than a basic phone? Do they need unlimited texting? And does it have to be turned on with them “tuned in” all the time?!

In my house we have certain periods that are electronics-free times– like during dinner around the table and at bedtime. Leave your comments and share this one Facebook and Twitter. Let me know your ideas and what limits you’re setting for your family!

Tomorrow night I get to meet up with over 1,000 of you and I am so excited! If you won’t be at the live event in Ohio, be sure to tune into the Live Spiritual Equipping message at 8 pm ET/7 pm CT tomorrow. You can watch the livestream or join us in person if you are in the Cincinnati area.

 

In great faith,

 

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