In January 2014, I preached a series at our church called Hope for Parenting. Here are some of the resources that I mentioned during the series that are helpful for parents:
Second, some technical helps on using the internet at home:
* There is no reason to have unfiltered internet in your home when OpenDNS Home is free to use. It is easy to install and use. Get an account on their website, download the software, and get started.
* Experts report that most kids are introduced to porn online through Google Images. You can LOCK safe search on your computer for all users. Google tells you how to do it on their support pages.
* YouTube is another website frequently used by kids who are searching for songs, clips, and other media. You can LOCK safety mode on Youtube on your computer for all users. Google tells you how to do it on their support pages.
* Of course, no technical solution is a substitute for common sense. Check out this warning from NetGear on their Live Parental Control software (that we use – it utilizes OpenDNS): Live Parental Controls is an excellent solution for keeping your family safe online, but like all Web filtering tools, it isn’t perfect. NETGEAR reminds you there’s no substitute for keeping the family computer in a common area and in plain sight where you can monitor the Web sites your kids are visiting, and taking caution when visiting Web sites requesting personal or financial information.
Third, some resource websites for parents (to keep us informed):
* Craig Gross (the founder of X3Watch – an online accountability software tool) is raising money to launch a new website called iParent.tv, which will help parents stay informed on websites, apps, social media, and other online resources. As a parent who is raising children in the digital age, I think this will be a very helpful resource. Barie and I signed up yesterday for a one-year subscription ($29) to stay informed.
* Walt Mueller’s ministry is called the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding. CPYU sends out regular email updates for free that are designed to keep parents informed on what is happening in youth-culture. Mueller covers music, movies, tv shows, and web trends. His updates can be a little overwhelming, but they are great conversations starters with our kids.
Fourth, some books on parenting that I have found helpful:
* John MacArthur’s book on What the Bible Says About Parenting strikes the right balance of biblical wisdom and practical help without giving into cultural fear-mongering or guilt-laden parenting.
* Tim Kimmel’s book Grace-Based Parenting is a clear call to parent our children with the same grace that God parents us with.
* Dr. Bruce Ware’s book Big Truths for Young Hearts is my favorite book on teaching basic theology to children – introducing them to the greatness of God in small bites.
That’s it for now. What resources would you add?