1-23-15 BORGER, Texas – There is a viral video that is of a father’s response to kids’ cyber bullying his daughter. In the viral video, Brad Knudsen found out about videos being sent to his 14-year-old daughter Dee Dee, who is African-American, via Snapchat videos, which called her horrible things using the N-word. He sought to speak to the parents, but when that failed, he called police.
Rather than press charges, he requested to speak to the parents of the children involved. That ended poorly. The parent of the bully not only didn’t care, he supported what his child had done. It was this attitude that prompted Brad to make his video response, garnering millions of views and the attention of the media.
Then it got ironic, for his own daughter sent out videos of herself using the very same racial slurs.
That is the basic background of the story, if you want more information you can do your own research. The media is doing a good enough job addressing the bullying, so I will make no further comment beyond how wrong it is. They’re also doing fine showing the error of the daughter, which needs no comment from me.
What is missing from all of this is the discussion of the free, unsupervised use of today’s technology by our children.
Where is the discussion about these children having access to these powerful tools without any real limitations?
Let me interject that these devices have no sinful nature in and of themselves. They are very helpful tools of communication. However, children have yet to learn how to navigate our dangerous world. That’s the parents’ job, to train them, to protect them by supervising their activities. [Pr 22:6; Eph 6:4]
Why were these children given complete access to the internet through these devises? Were there no limits, no boundaries?
I recall when my children were given their first cell phones, facebook accounts and email. Because we were so afraid of their immaturity allowing the dangerous world to touch them, we made some very clear guidelines for the use of these things.
There were no private computers, email, facebook or whatever. Computing, via any device, was limited to public areas of our home. They were not allowed to use the computer behind closed doors. As they grew older, and hence better educated about the perils, these restrictions relaxed, but accountability never was.
Could we have done better? Yes. Technology is constantly changing, but that is no excuse to close our eyes to the dangers. To do nothing is to shirk our parental responsibility.
To help other parents, let me suggest 4 rules that you can establish in your home.
- No private internet / phone access
- Parental access to all passwords
- Random spot checking of all of their accounts / devices.
- No talking with strangers online
Any infraction should be met with a zero tolerance policy. Your child should learn that these devices are a privilege and not a right. These are for THEIR protection. If you don’t train them about the world, someone else will, and you’re not going to be happy with the results.
I would also recommend you download the “10 commandments for kids online” from the Kim Komando website.
DOES THE BIBLE TALK ABOUT THE INTERNET?
I’m a believer that the bible covers every situation in our lives. Though the internet is never mentioned in the Bible, the PRINCIPALS for its use are clearly stated.
- Pornography – Mt 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. [Ga 5:16; 1Jo 2:16]
- Cyber Bullying – Jas 3:10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
- Wasting Time – Pr 24:30 ¶ I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; 31 And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.
- Friendships – Pr 27:17 ¶ Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
- Pr 17:17 ¶ A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
Friends, the standards of the world should not be the standards for the Christian. Jas 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
This doesn’t mean we are to not be friendly, it simply means that we need to seek God first, Mt 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; so that we can be a positive influence on the world, Mt 5:14 Ye are the light of the world.
Nor does it allow us to overly separate ourselves, 1Co 5:9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: 10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.
The world thinks we’re odd for not participating, 1Pe 4:4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:
We need to be lights, and our parental light should be shining on our children.