A Smart Mother vs a Smartphone
December 12, 2023
Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061
The following is one of the testimonies we received in response to the feedback we received when doing research for the book Keeping the Kids. The first edition was published in 2010. The new enlarged edition (2023) is Keeping the Kids in the Social Media Age.
After only a few weeks, we were starting to have very familiar character problems once again!
“We have a teen daughter whom we briefly allowed to have a smartphone and iPad. We took every precaution to shield and prevent her from accessing things that would be an ungodly influence in her life. We placed parental controls on both devices, performed regular and unannounced checks on each device to ensure nothing was going on behind our backs that should not have been. Most of the time, she would play games and watch YouTube tutorials and shows we approved. ...

“In the year we allowed her access to these devices, we had no ‘real’ problems except for the occasional disobedience of getting on the device when she was not allowed to be on it (e.g. during school hours, because we homeschool).
Nevertheless, the one main, consistent, and overriding problem we encountered time and time again was the spirit these devices seemed to place over her. She went from having a sweet spirit in all her ways and relationships, to being lazy, selfish, sneaky, delayed in obedience (disobedience), disrespectful, and having a bad attitude. NOW TO ANYONE ELSE, THEY WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO SEE THE CHANGE AS IT WAS VERY SUBTLE. Someone would really have to know her to even recognize there was a change occurring. Thankfully, because we have homeschooled her throughout her life, I have the unique advantage of REALLY KNOWING WHO MY CHILDREN ARE and therefore can recognize the change quickly.

“For about a year, we went back and forth with her privilege to be on the phone and iPad. When finally I started to see a pattern emerge. When she was on the devices, she had an ugly spirit and character problems. When she was grounded from it, her sweet spirit returned and the character problems disappeared. So we decided that she was not ready for such devices because it was doing more harm than good. It’s hard enough to raise godly children, and we don’t need to add things that will make it that much more harder; it’s foolishness! So we kept her off all these devices, and put a password on every electronic device in the house for a year. If she needed internet access, we logged into the computer for her and she did what needed to be done and logged off.

“After a year off electronics, we recently decided we would allow her access to her iPad (again) especially since it is now summertime. However, that did not last very long. After only a few weeks, we were starting to have very familiar character problems once again! I warned her; she'd shape up for a few days, and then back to warning, shaping up, and so forth. Last week, I had my last straw and said we were back to no electronics. Boy, did this unleash a rebellious spirit in her that lasted for days! I faced her rebellion head on and refused to overlook any of it. If it meant losing my sanity to fix the problem, then so be it. She is worth it! Finally, she got over her rebellion of losing the iPad, and now we’re back to seeing a sweet spirit once again. I just informed her that we would not be introducing anymore personal electronics if that’s the spirit we encounter when it gets taken away. Obviously, she is not mature enough to handle such a privilege. If personal electronics become a god in your life, then it’s foolishness for us to allow you to have it. Sometimes there are things in life that, on the surface, seem to add quality and convenience to our lives, but in reality it only brings a multitude of heartache! I’m sure she did not like to hear this, but that’s of no concern. We will be her parents first and foremost, even if it makes us unpopular!”

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