Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Be Strong and CourageousTwo weeks ago I attended a “Brave Parenting” Conference and this was the verse our speaker, Kelly Newcom, used to start the evening. She was able to grab my attention quick without her even knowing that this was my verse of the year. I love it when The Lord uses His word to draw us in close, and that is exactly what He did that evening with a room full of attentive parents who were ready to learn and be BRAVE.

The statistics I am about to share with you are alarming. It should awaken you to ARISE and take action in protecting your children. Keep in mind the verse above. We must be strong and courageous. This is not the time to grow fearful, afraid or discouraged. This is the time to take this knowledge and allow it to help us better protect our children and help them to grow in character amidst a culture of instant and limitless gratification through the media outlets they hold near and dear to their hearts.

In 2012, just six short years ago, 1% of children under the age of 8 years old owned a cell phone and 23% of children of the ages of 12 to 17 years of age.

Fast forward to 2018 and the numbers are startling. Now, 42% of children under the age of 8 years old have a cell phone and 89% of children 12 to 17 years of age own one. You guys…89%! Let that sink in for a minute.

Since 2012 we have seen a spike in depression in boys that is up 21% and 50% in our girls. Did you know that 5,000 adolescents die by suicide each year? It is the #2 cause of death in teens next to accidental deaths. Since 2007 the suicide rate in our children ages 10 to 14 years of age have doubled. That number astonishes me. Our youngest is 13 years old. Life should not be that hard for our children, dear friends.

Did you know that teens who sleep less than 7 hours per night are 68% more likely to have at least one suicide risk factor? This is huge! We think that Fortnite gaming is innocent so we let them play. Netflixing is the new rage and we are binge watching and missing our sleep in the process. Friends, our bodies need sleep. We were never designed to function with little to no sleep. Our phones are killing us. We have to have boundaries in place to help save and protect our families.

Did you know that sexting is the new 1st base? Teens today think that by sexting they are safe. They aren’t meeting the boy/girl face to face, so they tell themselves that it’s safer to sext than have sex. Did you know that 80% of self-made explicit images are stolen from the original upload location? 82% of sex offenders use social media profiles to gather personal information. They are out there lurking and on the prowl for their next victim.

Managing Media Creating CharacterThis is just the first page of notes I took that evening. I want to encourage you to go to amazon and buy the book, Managing Media Creating Character, authored by Kelly Newcom. She is full of wisdom from having gone through a very scary and personal fight to protect one of her own children. She grew a passion for research and study to learn about the pitfalls of media and now shares the knowledge with us today.

I am better prepared today to protect my family from the knowledge I have gained. We have new boundaries in place in our home. Our girls are getting better sleep. We are seeing more of their beautiful faces interacting as a family instead of being closed up in their rooms. The Lord is being faithful to His promise to GO with us wherever we go. Our job is to be STRONG and COURAGEOUS! Don’t be afraid! Technology is not going away. The answer is not to shelter them from it, but to teach them strong character and responsibility with it. You can do this mom and dad! I believe in you! Get busy learning and being BRAVE!!!