Many of you may have seen the creepy pictures of the internet fiasco known as MoMo. Don’t worry I will spare you the images! Nobody needs to see MoMo in their mind especially if you are like me and you have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. No thanks. However, MoMo in all her gruesome glory did do something worth thanking.
She started a much needed conversation among parents and brought an awareness to the ever growing problem known as unlimited internet access among our children. As a culture we need to ask those hard questions. Are my kid’s lives and mental health at risk by something I’ve allowed into our home?
Awareness. MoMo isn’t the only thing families need to be concerned about. Today’s children are being exposed to and engulfed by social media, pornography, and unlimited information. Processing, limiting and navigating the world of media is difficult for many adults. Imagine the ways it effects the minds of our children. As the daughter of a mental health nurse I have become aware of the increasing rates of suicide in our nation’s adolescence, and I’ve experienced with friends and families of young children firsthand the negative effects of this epidemic.
So I want to charge the parents out there with protecting the minds and hearts of our future. The world makes technology extremely accessible, but we can set boundaries in our homes. Practical ways to do this include making the internet only available to our children in living areas where they can be supervised, not allowing phones in their bedrooms, and placing appropriate age limits before allowing them on social media. There are also safeguards such as Circle with Disney allowing you to filter and block certain content for devices and even devices connected to your WiFi. Great for extending boundaries when the friends of your children are over as well. Most of all don’t be afraid of having those hard conversations with children about what is appropriate and inappropriate. Teach them and hold them accountable.
While I did not enjoy seeing the disturbing images of MoMo we owe her thanks. Thanks for bringing a much needed awareness to a growing problem. Thanks for reminding us that it is our job to safeguard our home and children from the things of this world. Romans 12:2 says, don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Nothing good and pleasing and perfect comes from boundary-less living. So let us rise to the challenge and establish those boundaries early on to protect the minds and hearts of our children and in return the security of those around them.