WT 116: Technology & Your Kids with special guest Tom Shefchunas

Today’s episode is going to be really practical and really important moms and because we wanted to get it right, we called in an expert. Today Tom Shefchunas is with us on the show to talk about our kids and technology. Tom is the Executive Director of Student Strategy at Orange - which is an organization that provides curriculum resources for churches. And, relevant to our discussion today, Tom has over two decades of experience working with, mentoring, and leading middle and high schoolers, as well as the parents and adults in their lives. We are grateful he could join us today in the Nest and really looking forward to having him as a break-out speaker at this year’s Soar conference.


Question 1:  In today’s world technology can’t be avoided. My son uses an iPad in Pre-K. However, I really limit the use at home. What is an appropriate amount of use for youngsters? I’ve heard one hour a day for television, does that apply to other “screens” too?

Question 2:  It seems like my kids are more advanced than I am and can even hack through parental controls or use things we couldn’t even find that are not appropriate- can the internet ever be safe enough? What are the internet filters/products/parent hacks I need to know about to at least continue trying to protect my kids? What are the “best practices” I should know about for my kids and could you break that down by age? :)

Question 3: I’m wondering about video game violence and teen boys. I’m looking at 14-17 old boys in particular, and how to address this when my son is at others’ homes. I don’t expect my son to live in a bubble and not to be exposed to these M rated games, but not quite sure how to address it when most of the moms I have talked to about this just shrug, and say “it’s what they do now”

Question 4: My kids are 13 and 16 and I just don’t know how to combat the onslaught of messages they receive from their phones. Where’s the line between keeping tabs on your kids and violating their privacy as it relates to tech?  Being online sucks up so much of their time and their attention. How can I compete? How do I make the messages I hope they’ll take in from ME as compelling as what they are getting online?


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