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Has Tech Invaded Your Family?

The Christian Perspective / Chris Hughes
The Truth Network Radio
March 11, 2022 5:00 am

Has Tech Invaded Your Family?

The Christian Perspective / Chris Hughes

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March 11, 2022 5:00 am

Connie Albers and Chris Hughes talk about how technology has changed family dynamics and how you can take your family back.

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Hello, this is Matt Slick from the Matt Slick Live Podcast, where I defend the Christian faith and lay out our foundations of the truth of God's Word. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just a few seconds. Enjoy it, share it, but most of all, thank you for listening and for choosing the Truth Podcast Network. Welcome to Citizens for America Foundation, Dr. Chris Hughes.

Hello, it is Family Friday and Connie Albers and I are so excited to be with you here today. I'm Chris Hughes and I want to welcome you to The Christian Perspective, where we look in God's Word in order to develop a Christian worldview and modern culture. The show is brought to you today by the Citizens for America Foundation from the Christian Perspective Studios on the campus of Mid-America College and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, Tennessee. I want to tell you, if you've got a young person who's looking for a good Christian college or maybe you've already been to college and you want to go to seminary or you don't have to be a preacher or a missionary to go to seminary, you might just want to learn more about God's Word.

I want to tell you, you won't find a school that is better grounded in the Word of God and the sufficiency of Scripture, the inerrancy of Scripture than Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. We're so honored to be able to bring you our show each and every day from Mid-America. So check us out. We'd love to have you visit the campus and hey, if you're ever on campus, call me and let me know. I'd love to visit with you.

Maybe grab lunch when you're visiting the campus. Well, it is Family Friday. It's been an exciting week. It's been a good week for me, Connie, and I hope you've had a great week too. I need to apologize to you because you hit a milestone a couple weeks ago. We didn't talk about it on the show last week, but your podcast had its hundredth episode. What a great accomplishment and milestone to reach in your ministry because I know personally how hard it is putting together. People think, oh, you just hop on this podcast and talk.

Oh, tons of research goes into every single show. And Connie, I'm so proud of you. Tell everybody because I know they hear you here, but they might not know about the podcast you have and they really need to go to it. So tell them about your show. Thanks, Chris.

I appreciate you celebrating with us. It is actually the topic of our 100th episode with Staying the Course because as you mentioned, doing something requires intentionality. It requires discipline and determination and just knowing that this is what God has for you to do.

And you start small or you, as a friend of mine says, you start ugly sometime. Equipped to be started right before the pandemic hit. So one week before the pandemic hit, I was speaking at a podcast conference and I got approved by Apple and all the powers that be. And we launched.

And here we have gone through two years of the world changing right in front of us. And equipped to be shows up every Wednesday at 8 a.m. And the listenership has continued to grow. And so I'd love for your listeners and guests to come over and check out equipped to be. We are really excited about what God's doing next on the show. Just like what he's doing here.

Here you started the same way. Yeah, it's exciting. And I think for you, Connie, you know, even though it probably seemed like a daunting task at the time is you started this thing and then a week or two later, the pandemic hits and you're probably thinking, Lord, what are you doing? But, Connie, that was probably God's providential hand with your ministry and timing because people were now home and probably people were listening to podcast. I think now after the pandemic more than before is the podcast format has grown and it probably was a blessing in many ways to your ministry because people were home and could listen to podcasts in a way they never could before.

Right. I mean, all I speak, that's what I do. And so that's I travel and I speak all over and everything was wiped out and it stayed that way.

It's just now starting to come back. But it was it was an interesting and I felt like the Lord had told me to do it. I didn't know. You know, I didn't know the technical parts of podcasting, kind of like you've been learning to do a radio show.

There's a lot of technical pieces. And God brought just the right people at just the right time. And literally, I felt that the world was changing and God had pivoted me to this new arena of podcasting. And so, yeah, I never believe in coincidence, but I do think God wants us to be obedient. So if he calls you, he's going to grip you. He's going to put the people in your path to do the job that he's assigned for you. Yeah. And you were equipped to be for that moment. So, folks, if you don't know, I just want to tell you every Wednesday, Connie releases a new show.

It is called Equipped to be. And you can find it at her website at Connie Albers dot com. Real simple. It's just her name, Connie Albers dot com.

But not only our website. Can you learn about a podcast which is equipped to be. But you can learn about her book. You tell real quick.

I guess I'm doing more commercials here. We do have a topic to talk about. But tell about your book real quick, too, since we're pushing you, because it's exciting. Hundredth episode.

Not not many people reach that accomplishment. And and God has just blessed you and your ministry is on fire right now. You travel to speak. And for those of you, not just women, women's conferences.

I mean, the advice you give is great for. I learn something every week when we're talking together on the show. But family conferences, men conferences, if you're looking for somebody to come speak in your church. Connie is just a great, great resource. Conferences, homeschooling conferences. Goodness, you've heard if you listen every week, you know, on Fridays when Connie's with us, she's talked about being a homeschool mom to five kids. And she and Tom homeschool their kids. So tell tell them about your book and then we're going to hop into today's topic.

Well, thank you. It's parenting beyond the rules, raising teens with confidence and joy. And the whole part was for well over 10 years, we would host families or kids, teens and college kids in our home. And we would have Bible study. We would have food.

We'd have fellowship there. You know, there was always fun to be had. And I would just listen to these kids. Chris, talk about what they wish their parents knew or what they wish they could talk to their parents about that they just couldn't because their children, their parents would overreact or take where the cell phone or take away their driving privileges. But yet there was a lot stirring in these kids hearts.

They were wrestling with some some good things and some very difficult things. And all those years, I just kept taking notes. And one day the Lord said, I want you to write this book.

And I thought, again, just kind of like podcast. All right, I'll write the book. But you're going to have to bring it all to pass. And I met someone who got me an agent.

And then we signed with NAB Press and Tyndall House. Parenting Beyond the Rules is doing very well. And it does. There's a twofold message, Chris. Raising teens is a difficult season because they're trying to grow up and we're trying to hold on. I mean, it's dangerous for our kids and we know that. And so I want to give parents the confidence and joy they need to parent their children. But I also want them to infuse confidence and joy within their teens to stand for the truth that their parents have been infusing into their lives since they were little. So I love it. I'd love you can find it anywhere books are sold.

It's it's just done really well. And, you know, we have rule limits and boundaries. We need those kids need those. But as our kids grow, we have to adjust and especially during the teen years.

Well, you just you stepped on those. You got to make me cry about thinking about my babies leaving. Connie, I was talking about how we want to hold on as parents. My daughter just gives me a hard time about that all the time because we did everything together when she was in school.

We tried. She was my travel buddy and she liked to eat crazy foods like I like to eat. I had a hard time letting go. But, you know, and then the opposite happened now that my son is it's odd that he's at college.

We were great friends now. And it's just amazing how God uses all those things. So, folks, be sure to go to Connie Edwards dot com. Check out her book. Check out her podcast every Wednesday. And then if you want to see us both, we're going to be speaking in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 30th on the campus of Mid-American Baptist Theological Seminary, the Citizens for America Foundation is holding their annual culture engagement summit. And there'll be all kinds of apologists and other speakers there.

But I tell you, you want to come and be worth the trip to Memphis just to get to hear what Connie has to say that day. So be sure to mark April 30th on your calendar if you want to learn more about that. Visit Citizens for America Foundation dot com. That's Citizens for America Foundation dot com. Click on the events button and you can find out how you can come and bring folks from your church or college or high school group or whatever homeschooling group.

We'd love to have you all join us in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 30th. Well, Connie, you were talking a minute ago about how God used the technology available at this time to help your your podcast come together. But even though technology can be good, I know for families, sometimes it can be a trick. And we need to learn how to attain technology a little bit in our lives.

It can be neutral, but it can also be positive for. So tell us what your opinion is about technology. How does it affect the family? What do we need to be doing as parents to look out for challenging technology issues in our families? Technology, it's like every parent talks about it. And we know this because we see what our kids are doing, the devices that are on.

And I've seen something interesting. Prior to 2020, March of 2020, when I would speak on technology, I would have a different perspective on technology usage and what kids could do. And I started seeing and what I would see, Chris, is if I started talking about the dark web, if I started talking about hidden app that parents don't realize. I mean, frankly, most parents don't really know how to fully harness the power of their cell phones or their computers, let alone you start talking about anonymous apps and hidden apps and dark, the dark web. And then parents just get very fearful and they react in one of two ways. Chris, they either pull everything back.

It's like, oh, no, no devices in our house whatsoever. Or they say, you know what? They're going to figure it out. They'll stumble and fall. And, you know, it's all going to be OK. And there's a middle ground.

And so technology is just neutral. We use it. We're using it now. We're doing it for the radio show. We do it for the podcast.

We do it when we're communicating via email or thanks to some of the search engines, we can pretty much find anything we want with a few clicks of a button. Well, that's also what happens with our children. And so what I try to help parents understand is to not be fear based when it comes to technology. It has changed.

The world has changed. And what parents may have feared is now right in their face. So we do know our kids are being data mined. We do know our kids are being traced and tracked. We're being traced and tracked.

We're also being censored and silent. But technology isn't going away. The platforms will come and go. Maybe Facebook will, you know, Facebook's meta. Maybe it'll turn to something else or maybe it'll break up in an antitrust lawsuit.

Who knows what's going to happen. But this we do know God designed us for community and relationships. And because of that, we have to teach our children how to use technology, how to use these devices, how to use this power to create a positive social footprint.

And that is found advice, particularly in this day and age. We're talking about technology with Connie Albers right now. And just all kinds of things were in my mind as you were talking about technology and search engines and the dark web. We're going to take a break.

But, Connie, we'll come back before we jump into all that. Can you explain to our listeners what is the dark web? Because we probably have parents listening who don't know. And what are anonymous apps?

Some people might not know what an app is at all. It's important for us as parents to understand that. So first of all, I have you to find some things for us when we come back, Connie.

And then we're going to jump into what parents can do. So y'all stick around. We'll be right back with more on Family Friday.

Connie Albers. We'll be right back. We'll be right back. We'll be right back. We'll be right back.

We'll be right back. That great story of redemption when God raised up the slave-born Moses to deliver his chosen people. And the sublimer story where our Savior died a cruel death that all men without distinction of race might be saved makes slavery impossible. This has been an American Minute with Bill Federer.

For a free transcript, call American Minute at 1-888-USA-WORD. Welcome back to The Christian Perspective. Connie Albers and I are talking today about technology and the dark web and apps and, you know, whether we like technology or not, whether we like cell phones or not, or smartphones, computers, laptops, tablets, they're all part of our lives. And they're not going to go away, I don't think, anytime soon.

I really struggle with when, you know, when do you give your kids, and I don't know if you have advice on that, when do you give your kids a cell phone and that kind of thing. But before we jump into that, the last segment, you were talking about the dark web and anonymous apps. What is the dark web and what are apps in general, not just to mention anonymous apps? Well, the dark web is the ability to go out into the World Wide Web undetected. So there's buttons and there's features on your computers that you can either do a search on Yahoo or one of the other platforms, Stuff That Go.

You can do a search. You just type in, how do I slice onions? And you can search and be told how to slice onions or how to manage your budget. Well, there is the ability to go incognito, to kind of like be invisible, to go out there and search. That's where a lot of human trafficking happens.

That's where a lot of drugs take place. That's where stalking can happen. There's gathering information that the search engines, quote unquote, won't be able to be traced and tracked back to you. Now, it technically could be, but it's that if somebody were to come, aka mom and dad, and click on your trial history, they wouldn't be able to see they were searching for, say, pornography or they weren't searching for drugs or they weren't searching for how to cut or how to do self harm.

They wouldn't be able to see those things because those could be actually searched without detection. And so for a mom and dad, that can be troublesome and so that you don't get concerned. Part of how we remedy this, you know, combat that is not allow your kids to have the devices, but have the communication with your kids and know what's going on with them if they are struggling with certain things or if they're curious. Sometimes, Chris, our kids stumble into things just like you and I can click a few buttons and like, Whoa, how did I get over here?

I was I was looking at not a big deal topic. And now I'm finding myself where I'm not supposed to be. Well, as it can happen to parents, it can happen to children. So we want to have a conversation with our kids so that they do understand the difference.

And not that we teach them ways to go about being sneaky or being incognito, but that they're aware that other people do these and they use them for evil and not good. Now, as far as app, you have a device and you can click on apps that you can add to your phone, the devices and they're great. You know, an app can be Excel, an app can be a Word document. Apps can be good, but apps can not be good.

And let me get, I don't want to get too far in the weeds because I don't want to lose our listeners. But there are apps like Candy Crush or some of the other apps like Facebook can be an app on your phone and your kids can just go on and visit those. Well, there are others that are anonymous and that's kind of like the dark web where they can get an account and it can nest itself under an icon on your device that parents can't really see. But it's there. It can be a photo album where there's pictures that aren't supposed to be there that were sent to them that they can hide underneath. Now, mom and dad, parents, caregivers, teachers, if you're listening, just breathe.

Don't panic. It's an opportunity for you to have conversations with your kids. But apps are tools and resources and depending on who the developer is, if it's in the United States or if it's not in the United States, it's either monitored by the federal government or it's not. So you want to just ask your kids and begin the conversation. Something like, so what have you been doing on your phones or your friends have this thing called anonymous apps or things that they don't want their parents to know. I know I've gotten kind of deep in the weeds on this and I don't want parents to be scared and say, that's it. I knew it was bad.

I knew I shouldn't have. Now I have evidence. I'm just going to tell my kids, no, because this stuff exists. This stuff exists, not just on devices, but in society and in our world. And there is power in it. But as parents, as caregivers, as educators, we want to help our children learn how to use technology, how to use devices, how to use apps for good and not evil.

We want to teach them how to resist and we want to teach them the dangers of so that they, they can avoid them. And when we talk and have knowledge, then there's power in that. And our kids don't think we're quite as ignorant, maybe as they think we are, because we start asking questions and we don't assume, but we just start asking questions. Does that make sense, Chris? It does, and I have a million questions for you now that you've asked all this. So I'm going to probably be jumping all over the place here, Connie, but I'm writing, I'm thinking so many things, you know, because I am a parent of teenagers and kind of living this right now. That's what I love about you being on here every week. I mean, you basically are preaching to me every single Friday where you come on, because the information you give, Connie, is so useful. All right, so I'm going to, I'm going to start, if I can just interrupt you. Is it okay if I can ask you a couple questions?

Absolutely. So Connie, as a parent, you talked about how we can monitor our kids. How do we monitor? How do we know if our kids have these dark web apps on their phone or their computer?

Great question. It starts by being accountable. When your children, if you've decided this is the age, and let me just interject something before, like, how do we know?

It first starts with the relationship you have with your child, the desires that you see within your child. Do they constantly run toward that, which they're not supposed to do, just to kind of see if they can get away with something or do something? Maybe they're button pushers. Maybe they're just curious. That is one criteria is what's going on in the heart of your child, as you know.

The other is what's the maturity level of your child? If you were to put something before them, let's say a bag of M&Ms and say, hey, I'm going to go fold laundry, don't touch the M&Ms until I get back and you come back and the bowl's empty. Well, they might not be ready to handle a device just because there is the ability to say no. The ability to resist the temptation to go seek or click around could, might be an indicator that they're not mature enough. Maybe they don't have the ability to self-regulate, self-control, or to just say, I don't think that's good for me.

That would be another indicator that might not be the right time. So parents, you know, some apps have age limits, like some apps say, okay, your child has to be 13. But you know what parents are doing, Chris? They'll set their kids up with an app, with a phone or an app or a social media account that's underage. You know, they're not 13 years old or 18 years old. And it's, oh, they're going to keep up with these five friends. Or they're just going to stay in touch with the family that lives in Idaho. Or, wonderful reason, but they don't realize that when they set their children out there, their children are now exposed to all manner of people. And you can't regulate and control that.

It's impossible to stay on top of it unless you are an IT wizard yourself. Then it's different. So going to your question, think about the relationship you have with your child. Think about the natural propensity your child has towards obeying, doing the right thing, listening to your instructions, following your instructions, and honoring you. And then what are the requirements that those apps or that device has for age usage? Is your child mature enough to handle it or not?

And if they're not, just say, sweetie, you know what, I'm not seeing these areas of responsibility or maturity in your area. So we're just going to wait a little bit. When I see these, then we can give you a little more freedom or give them the freedom and they misuse it. You know what, I would really love for you to be able to have this and use it. It's a great tool. It's a wonderful resource, but with tools and with these resources come responsibility.

If you can't handle the responsibility, if you can't be faithful to still work the small things like this, then we're just going to have to pull back a little while until you can show and demonstrate you're able to handle things wisely. That's kind of like a 30,000 elevation of what parents have to do before they even dive into the whole apps and devices. Because since COVID hit, everyone's using their devices more.

Their world change and the way they communicate has changed even more. Connie, do you think that parents should have the passwords for their phones and apps for kids? I know that's a big argument in some families is control of passwords. Do you think parents should have those passwords? It's funny, my first answer is it depends. If they're younger, yes, absolutely.

Absolutely. If mom and dad are paying for it, absolutely. Because what parents don't realize, Chris, is they're liable. So if your children, let's just say your curious teenager decides they're going to pull a prank on another teenager and that teenager does something out of fear or reaction, then it gets traced back to your child. And because they are your child, they are a minor, the parents can be held liable.

So absolutely. I do believe that having your password, having an establishing boundaries, no cell phones in your bedroom at night. They all go into either mom and dad's bedroom or they're all left in a basket on the kitchen table. Wherever parents decide the common place is, but no phones in the bedroom at night. You can't be isolated and go off on your own and just be staring at your screen and watch their behavior.

If they start pulling the phone away when somebody walks by, be curious about why are you hiding? That would be normal about anything, but having the account, having the password and putting on parental controls. But what parents often don't realize is these kids are just extremely tech savvy. I've been told so many times, mom and dad will change the password on something and they'll walk three feet away.

They close the door, leave the room or go cook dinner. And within a matter of seconds, the passwords change and the kids right back on doing it, doing whatever it was they weren't supposed to be doing. So there is a symbiotic relationship between the parent and child. As a child is younger, parents have more input, say control boundaries, rules around the device for their protection. Not to keep them from having fun, but to protect them from those that would want to hurt or harm them. As they hit the middle school years, again, it becomes a conversation.

And in the high school years, as they're transitioning into adults, that's where it gets a little more complicated with parents and children and parents and their teens. Well, Connie, we've got to take a quick break. Folks, stick around. We're really fixing to jump in to cell phones and technology.

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Welcome back to the Christian Perspectives, Chris Hughes. I'm here today as I am every Friday with Connie Owers and we're talking family issues. Today we're talking about technology and before the commercial break we were talking about how to decide when your kids have a phone and the dark web and secret apps that they have on their phone and the importance of establishing a trust relationship with your kids and whether or not you have their passwords.

So Connie, I've just got so many questions I want to jump in and ask you about everything. My mind just jumbled with all this technology stuff that's going on because I remember, and your kids I think are all older than mine, but I remember when cell phones were really starting to become a thing that everybody had and there's tremendous pressure on parents or to kids from their peers to have a cell phone and kids even at very early ages now. I'm glad I'm not faced with this today, but at very early ages kids are having phones to now and I know there's a lot of question about when a kid could get a phone or should get a phone or whatever. We might talk about that in a minute, but Connie it's really how, I didn't understand this for a while, it's really how kids communicate today.

They don't even really talk anymore. I mean I think the phone feature, we call it a cell phone, I think the phone part is one of the least used features on the phone, particularly in the younger generation. They text and find different ways to communicate and I'm just going to be honest, as a parent, Connie, that scares me because when I was a kid, if I was talking to my girlfriend or on the phone or whatever, we usually you'd have one or two phones in the house and usually it was in a central location and your parents could hear what you were talking about.

Today when they're texting, you don't know what they're saying. You don't know who they're talking to or what they're talking about and that might not bother some parents, but that really scared me to be honest as a parent not knowing what was going on or really having any way to monitor it. Do you hear that from other parents?

Absolutely. I've had so many parents come up to me and this one woman in particular, I had just finished speaking on Facebook, Snapchat, all the apps, what's a family to do and I got more in depth with helping educate parents and she came up and she said, I just have to tell you a compelling story about my daughter. She liked a boy and this boy was encouraging her to take some pictures because he just really loved her and cared about her and it would just be between them and story went on and a social worker came to her door, the mom and daughter's door and said, hey, we need to talk to you. She was a school advisor where her daughter went to school and they said, we need to talk to you about something that happened with the device and this mother was like, well, what? And the daughter had come out and she says, we need your daughter to kind of go away. We need to tell you what had happened. Well, what had ended up happening is this young lady had sent a couple of photos to this young boy, didn't go to her school district. You're talking to anybody and everybody and you don't know who these people are or pretending to be and Chris, this particular young boy had decided to share it on a platform and it went viral. That happened so often, Connie. I mean, girls don't understand. You're so self-conscious and it was, he was rather cruel in what he was saying and so she became this viral joke and not even in her district and so it resulted in her having to have a lot of counseling and became a life impacting moment that parents, you know, we tell our kids don't do this, don't do that, but sometimes they can be encouraged or persuaded into doing things they otherwise wouldn't in person do.

And the pressure on these kids, Chris, is phenomenal. They're expected to respond to a text in 1.5 seconds. And I don't understand that as a parent, Connie. I mean, maybe you do, but my kids are like, you know, since you text, I'm like, well, I'm busy. I'm at work.

I'm in a meeting. It's been two minutes, but they immediately, they're like, well, I've got to answer them now. And that's just something that I, you know, as an old guy, I guess I don't understand, you know, because I remember when you have to wait days to talk on the telephone with somebody.

So, you know, I think that's something that parents and grandparents, particularly older parents don't understand is there's this huge pressure. And, you know, that was an ongoing war. So I had a rule, and I'm sure you probably had this too, where there's no cell phone at the table. And, you know, the supper time was family time. And, you know, those phones, wherever they put them, you know, as you say, in the basket or leaving them wherever they are across the room, they'd be dinging with text messages.

It'd be going crazy because I've got to respond right now. I'm like, no, we're eating. But as a parent, I didn't understand, you know, particularly early on the pressure that these kids today, you know, they think right away, you got to get back to them. Well, Connie, in a situation like that photo, what do we do as parents?

One, how do we check that? How often do we check our kids' phones? And my kids, bad kids, you know, I guess nobody says there's are, but I mean, it was a fight sometimes over. I don't want you looking through my phone. Well, you know, my opinion is I'm paying for it.

Give it over. But I know in other families too, because I've heard families talk, and I'm sure you probably have, Connie, that particularly teenagers don't want to work over the phone to parents. That line that we draw on the sand, do we look at it no matter what?

How often do we look at it? You know, what are the consequences if they've done something on the phone that they shouldn't have done? And the other thing you just said, a wonderful question. Yes, we need to be monitoring their phone. And yes, we can actually even see, we can get record of their texts, and we can see what they're texting, what they're saying. Our kids need to know that we're there, we're monitoring it, we are paying attention.

They don't have unfettered freedom. Our kids need to know this. And also, as your children get older, especially in the teen years, where they start needing a bit of privacy, they start needing a sense of my own space with my own thoughts and my own conversation.

And that's, that's all well and good. And that's the delicate balance of our children growing up. But a child left to themselves bring forth destruction. So there is a responsibility that we face as a mom and dad, as a protector, as a caregiver, to protect our children.

Our children don't know the hidden dangers. That happens to other people on the nightly news. That doesn't happen to them in their circle until it happens to them in their circle. And then it becomes, oh, wow, well, so and so had such and such happened the other day.

And wow, that was terrible. But there's still this feeling with our children that, well, that's not me. I'm smarter than that. I can outwit these people, and they don't realize what they're up against. So coming back to some practical things parents need to do, know your child, have open communication, set set the boundaries, like you said, dinner time, no devices. And if your parent if your kids give you flack, if your friends give you flack for it, tell them, you know, hey, these are my these are my parents rule them, you know, I don't want them to take away my phone. I didn't care if they made me seem like a bad mom or a mean mom, because I'm protecting my children from possibly being abducted or, or sharing information or gathering information that they really shouldn't be, you know, accessing.

So it didn't bother me. And I would always encourage parents tell your kids why you're doing it. Listen, we have very little time in our day, you're busy doing school, you're busy doing this, I'm at work. This is the only time we have to really discuss as a family, what's going on how everybody's day was. And just like we would not walk up in a restaurant and just go sit down at somebody else's table. That is eating uninvited people aren't going to pop into our conversation around the dinner table, uninvited on this is our time and we're going to protect it. There is a season Chris where your kids aren't going to appreciate it, but there's seasons where kids don't appreciate a lot of the things that we do. But our responsibility as parents is to teach and train them in the way they should go. We have to diligently be teaching them and it starts with them knowing why we're doing what we're doing. And listen to your kids, if they're giving you valid reasons why they need to do a specific thing and it really is a valid reason, consider it and tell them, you know, let me consider what you're saying and think about it and we'll see if we can't come up with a way, a solution.

You know, maybe you can have this amount of time on your device on the back porch or in a living room or so and you can talk to such and such, but just know that all devices are going to be monitored, but just they just are. I was listening to a sheriff talk about what was happening in our community at a gathering and he was just like, my kids know I'm going to check everything because I'm not trying to keep my children from exploring the world, I'm trying to keep others from destroying their world. Think about that, tell your kids, I want you to use this and then go beyond that and say, I want to show you how to use technology and how to build a positive social footprint.

One that when you look back on at 25 or 35, you're going to look back and see you contributed, you used the voice, you used the words, you used your message, you used your passion to make a difference. Maybe you're helping to promote the pug society because your kids just really like those pug dogs. Or maybe you just really want to use your voice for children that are dealing with cancer and you have just such an empathy for them and you want to bring awareness to cancer research for kids or whatever it could be.

It could be even how to grow certain vegetables, organic or oils, essential oils, not essential, but just oils and such. Help them realize there is a place for their voice. They do have something to say. It matters and it will make a difference and they can be contributors to the society without having to undo damage that's caused from poor decision making. Because either you didn't know how or you didn't have the ability to restrict yourself and rein yourself in or not conform to the pressures of those around you. Creating a positive social footprint is so important to teach your children and it is possible for them to learn that. And Chris, honestly, there's not a better time for you to help your children learn that than when they're at home. I've seen so many kids who parents were so restrictive. Now, I'm not saying allow it. I'm not saying, okay, let it go or restrict it all. There's just a balance between each family, your values, your convictions, your child. I have five and they were all very different.

But what I've seen happen so often is kids turn 18, they go to college or they move out and they just go berserk because they never learned how to harness the power that's within their fingertips and how to resist and not fall into places they shouldn't go to when they were under their parents' roof. Boy, this is good stuff, Connie. Folks, we are talking about technology and the family are taking a quick commercial break. Come back. We're going to talk more about how you as a parent can know what's going on in your kids' cell phones.

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Visit today and secure your spot to join Chris Hughes in Washington, D.C. this June. Welcome back to The Christian Perspective. I'm Chris Hughes, and I'm here as I am every Friday with my co-hosts, Connie Albers. And Connie, this has just been a great topic today because it is timely.

It's something that every parent faces. Before we took the commercial break, you were talking the importance of understanding how to harness the power of the technology that's in our families. I'm just going to repeat some of the great things.

I was taking notes. I always learn so much from you. I wish I had you around when I was a dad with younger kids.

I could have avoided some of the pitfalls that we had in life. You give such great parenting tips, Connie. I'm so thankful that you're on our show every week. You said we need to keep others from destroying their world and the kids need to know that we're trying to protect them. We're not trying to hurt them. We love them. We want to help them and that we need to teach and train them in the way they should go. And I love this.

You said a child left to themselves brings forth destruction. That is so, so true, Connie. Well, when I look at the technology and for me, it's hard to keep up, you know, because I don't know everything they're doing. There are so many social media platforms. There's always something new coming, like TikTok is a video platform that's out now and most older people.

So I'm an old guy. I use Facebook. But kids today, you know, parents, you need to know that very few kids use Facebook.

They see the old person thing. They have an account to maybe know if something's going on with a family or you can share pictures with grandma. But I want to tell you, if you're only checking your kid's Facebook account, you are not seeing what's really going on. Probably the next Instagram is then more popular. But what I'm really seeing with young people today is one is TikTok, which is video format.

And some of those videos can be very dirty. But the real one that kids use a lot, Connie, is Snapchat. I think when we're talking about monitoring, I do believe that Snapchat is the most used among at least my kids friends. And the thing with Snapchat is my kids tell me it only stays available, I think, for like a minute. So how do we check what they're doing when a post does not stay online very often?

You know, like with Facebook, Connie, it stays forever unless you delete it. But with Snapchat, it's quick so the parents can't see it. And evidently, if you take a screenshot of something, then the person that posted knows that you took a screenshot. And so my kids tell me that, you know, sometimes I'll say, well, show me a picture of what they said. And they're like, no, because they'll know that I took a screenshot and they'll think I'm weird.

So with something like Snapchat, Connie, how do we monitor it? Communication, accountability, them knowing that you're on the job. You're not just idly letting them have free reign. That's key, Chris, because as your kids when your kids are little, they're not they're playing iPad in the grocery store as you're going up and down the idle. You know, they're just they're oblivious or playing a little game. But what parents don't realize is with even the games, they're slipping in the developers have hidden portals.

They have rooms that your kids can go in that they have to be invited by others. And who knows who those others are? And they'll be in appropriate conversations and you're thinking they're playing an innocent game and they're not.

And that strikes fear in us. So communication is key. Accountability, letting them know I am looking and trust. I wrote about trust in Parenting Beyond the Rule.

So much of our relationship with our kids is based on trust. Listen, I'm not trying to be a killjoy to my job to protect you. If you choose to not listen, I'm going to stand before the Lord and I'm going to give an account for everything I do and say, I'm going to answer to you. I'm going to answer to the Lord. You're his child. He gave you to me. I am to teach and train you. I can't make you because there's things you can do in hiding when you're at your cousin's house, when you're at Grandma and Grandpa's house and they went to bed at eight o'clock and you stayed up till midnight playing around on the computer. I can't know those things, but the Lord's eyes are upon you.

They're constant. The Lord watches the Lord. We will give an account. You will give an account of the things that you do and the words that you say and the actions that you do. The Lord says, honor your father and mother that it may be well with you. There's a promise there. Teach your children the truth found in God's word that they are to honor you and if they believe you are being too strict or they believe you don't understand or they believe you're not really hearing what they have to say, that they can go to the Lord and say, you know, Lord, my parents are just really in the Stone Age. They just don't get this.

I need your help. Will you work in their heart and you tell your children, ask the Lord to change my heart. Ask the Lord to help me learn so that I can be the parent you need me to be. Something happens in a beautiful way with your kids. Doesn't mean they're always going to make the right decision, but they know that, one, they go to the Lord and the Lord can change the hearts of others. And they know that you're going to the Lord and that you're willing to adjust and change if the circumstance warrants that kind of a change. But there's just so much trust that goes in. Trust is given. We start off with 100 percent trust. If you don't do what you needed to do, if you didn't honor what we asked you to do, then you have to earn that trust back.

You have to show us that we can give this to you and you can be trusted with this. It's that same way with all manner of life. When we get to the why of what our kids want, maybe it's because they're afraid they're missing out.

FOMO is real. Our kids want to talk to people. They're designed for community and created for relationship.

That is normal. Don't bemoan their desire to connect with others. Some of your kids will want to more than others. Some of my kids could care less about chatting with people, texting or any platform. But what we do have to realize is teaching our children, like TikTok, that's caught, that's captured. It's data mined. They're gathering a profile on your children, on their likes and their dislikes.

And I would encourage families to watch the social dilemma with their kids so their kids can see there's more than meets the eye. They're not innocent platforms that we can just play around on. They're platforms that are being utilized on purpose and it's not with the best interest of your child in mind.

Or even you. Is that a movie that they can find online, Connie? They can find it online.

Well, unless of course it was taken down, but yes, the social dilemma. I've even talked to some of the big tech giants and representatives about do you let your kids go watch YouTube videos? That was one of the questions I asked. And they said, not under this age, I don't. They don't even touch the device. And another one of the tech folks was like, oh, it's heavily controlled and they're only allowed these apps. That's all they can get to. They don't have access to. So we can clamp down. And as a child grows, but these are the folks that know what the hidden dangers that are out there. And they're also the ones saying, of course, I monitor what my kids are doing or I say, no, you can't.

Not now. You're not ready for this. The forces against you, the people that would be trying to get access to you, they're slicker than you. They're smarter than you. They're wiser.

They have tactics that you just don't have. A way to combat that, Chris, is do more things together as a family, more activities that don't involve devices. That's great advice. Connie, I'll tell you an app that scares me a lot as a dad. And I know there's others, but this is the probably the most popular one is a dating app called Tinder. And for those parents that are listening, there are a lot of dating apps that you see eHarmony and those kind of things online. I mean, on TV commercials, you don't see Tinder on TV commercial. But if you're not familiar, you want to make sure kids don't have Tinder on their phone. Tinder is a dating app, and it really has a reputation of one purpose for guys to find girls to have sex with. And really, that's the purpose of Tinder. I don't know that all girls realize that.

Yeah, yeah. So when kids are talking about a hookup, parents, they're talking about having sex, and Tinder is designed for that sole purpose. So you really want to keep an eye on that because, you know, your daughter has, and son too, they have no idea.

I can steal a picture from anywhere and say that that's me and build a false identity online. And your kids start communicating with these. I mean, not everybody on there, you know, I'm not seeing everybody on Tinder as a weirdo, but they could be. I mean, it could be some child molester or pervert or somebody in their mother's basement. Or it could just be some teenage guy who wants to, he's like a gunslinger wanting to put marks on his gun to find out how many girls he can have sex with.

And he's going to target your daughter to try to do that. So parents, Tinder, and not just Tinder, Connie, you probably, I don't know the names of all the others, but I know that one just has a famous reputation of being a hookup site, like you said. Yeah, there are millions. There's apps that kids download and they, the whole goal of the app is to create or fabricate a rumor about someone. And the better the rumor, the more salacious, the more kids will like it. And there's a lot of bullying and that's the one area that isn't talked about as much. And that's the bullying that takes place online. I've talked with parents whose kids have been encouraged to take their life, that have been encouraged to cut themselves, have been encouraged to, you know, why are they even here? They're just a wasted piece of flesh. And so they shouldn't even be in existence.

So there's a lot of bullying that takes place. And I know I'm not making a great case for technology here, but it's not going anywhere. So as parents, we just need to be wise. We need to ask the Lord to reveal the areas that maybe we don't know or we can't see because God sees it all.

He knows. He can see and pray for protection over your children. Pray for protection from people accessing your kids and help your kids learn that this is a tool and a resource that can be used for good and it can be used for evil.

And what we want to help our children learn to do is use it for good, spreading truths that are helpful to others, being by the aid. I mean, it's like one in nine, nine and nine out of every 10 kids know someone who's been bullied online. One tells their parents about it.

So there's a lot that happens that your kids don't tell you about. And mostly it's because they're afraid that you're going to take away their device and that's their lifeline to the world. That's how they, you know, you mentioned TikTok earlier, Chris. I mean, I will tell you, people send me, text me TikTok news clips. That's how they're getting their news. They're not sitting on, you know, watching the nightly news or going to a news app. They're getting their news of current events through these social platforms.

And it can be good and it can be bad. But we want to teach our children through our guidance, through our relationship, through the help of the Lord to use them wisely. And when they do send us something, oh, that's really that's interesting. Encourage them to share with you.

Encourage them to invite you in to their world and share information. Don't don't throw up the shield of I don't want to know. I don't be engaged and be involved. Your kids may not appreciate it at certain ages. They may feel like you're being intrusive or restricted or butting in or not trusting them.

I can just think of all these things that parents, you know, kids say to their parents, you just don't trust me. But we have to be aware of that technology is neutral. It's what we do with it that makes a difference. Connie, we run out of time. But that was great advice to end with is to be engaged and be involved. Thank you, Connie. Such great information today on technology. Folks, send this episode to your friends.

They need to know how they can manage this minefield of technology within their family. Connie, again, we're so proud of you for your hundredth episode. Folks, go to Connie Albers dot com.

Check out her podcast and her book. And we hope you'll come see us in Memphis on April 30th. We'll be in Memphis, Tennessee, at the Culture Engagement Summit. So come see us. Folks, thanks for joining us today.

I'm Chris Hughes and Connie Albers here with me. This is The Christian Perspective. Be sure to tune in here on your favorite radio station each and every day to learn how you can develop a Christian perspective. Please subscribe and like our podcast and share it with your friends on social media. Now let's go change the culture for Jesus. Thank you for listening. The Christian Perspective with Chris Hughes. Learn more about impacting the culture for Jesus. Visit This is the Truth Network.
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