Dipo Adebayo
6 min readApr 22, 2023

The Media May Be Killing Your Children.

Here are 7 things you can do to protect your kids from negative media influence.

The media has a significant influence on the thinking and actions of young people today. Negative media can greatly impair the lives of our young people.

I believe this is a major reason we have more young people today getting into all sorts of vices: internet fraud, rape, homosexuality, drug abuse, etc.

And it’s partly why we’re seeing growing numbers of insecure, clinically anxious, depressed, and drug-addicted young people.

It is crucial to protect children, teenagers, and young adults from negative media messaging. Here are seven ways to help.

1- Limit Media Exposure:

We need to limit the exposure of our young people to media, and that includes Television, social media, Netflix, YouTube, etc. Generally, we need to limit their phone usage or access to other smart (internet-enabled) devices i.e laptops, iPads, etc.

Note, the idea is not to completely cancel it, it’s to limit or control it. Have a conversation with your children where you both agree on the times they can browse and the kind of content they can view or search for.

Help them understand that while the internet is a great tool it must not become an idol, and it can have devastating effects if used without discernment, boundaries, and self-control

I believe young people should not have uncontrolled access to smartphones until they are 15-18 years old.

It's expected that by that age they will have built a significant level of morality, judgment, discernment, and self-control, which will help them stay safe online and use smart devices in a healthy way.

2. Teach your children their identity.

Seize every opportunity to creatively tell your children about their identity in Christ. Use stories and examples they can understand.

When they know who they are in Christ, it will be harder for them to fall for the lies the Media throws at them, because they will know whose they are, their values and what they stand for.

If you’re wondering how to teach your children their identity in Christ— what stories, videos or analogies to use, check this out: WHO AM I?

OR Email me.

3- Set an example.

Don’t only teach identity, model it. Be an adult who knows their identity in Christ and who walks the talk of their faith.

Similarly, don't only teach healthy media usage, model it; avoid using media excessively and without boundaries and discernment.

Remember, children learn more by what we do than by what we say.

4. Develop their faith, right beliefs, morals and values so that it takes root.

Photo by おにぎり on Unsplash

Don’t give ownership of smart phones to children when their values are not yet formed. They are not ready for all the twisted ideas and wrong messaging the world is eager to bombard them with.

When they are more mature in the truth and their ability to discern and choose right from wrong, you can consider handing them a device.

5. Teach them to use phones wisely and in a controlled manner.

Photo by Ludovic Toinel on Unsplash

So that it doesn’t become an addiction and consumes their time so they no longer give attention to developing themselves socially, academically, spiritually, intellectually, etc

Think about it: even for some of us as adults, sometimes it's incredibly difficult to keep our phones away and focus on more important things— how much more for children?

6. Teach them NOT to substitute close relationships with surface social media connections.

Photo by Kadyn Pierce on Unsplash

Make them realize that having a 1000 friends online who like your photos doesn’t match having your family and a few friends who deeply care about you. Invest quality time in those close relationships, over social media surface connections.

7. Teach them to value personal development over social media:

Photo by Miquel Parera on Unsplash

Teach your young people to value developing valuable skills over social media. Helping a young person discover skills they are gifted in early in life is such a blessing.

Teach them to value and develop Technical Skills like hand crafts, musical skills, athletic skills, computer skills, art skills, etc.

And Soft skills (or human skills) like effective communication, empathy, emotional intelligence, leadership, social skills, good listening skills, negotiation skills etc.

Before handing young people phones, it will be great if we help them value learning these skills needed to succeed in life, or else when they get phones, they may abandon learning these skills and spend all their free time on social media or watching entertaining media.

8. Teach them how to stay safe online.

Photo by Nahel Abdul Hadi on Unsplash

Teach your kids that there are criminals and evil people online, looking for how to defraud or pounce upon the naive and unsuspecting, therefore they should be refrain from sharing personal information online like home addresses, passwords, phone numbers, bank accounts, their schools, etc.

They should also avoid accepting friend requests from strangers or meeting up with strangers in private places.

Also, they need to know people use false identities online, therefore that good-looking "teenager" they think they are chatting with may actually be a 40-year old fraudster or pedophile

9. Foster open and honest communication: Create an environment where young people feel safe to talk about any struggles they may be facing, including those related to the media.

Perhaps most importantly, regularly have conversations with them asking about their online activity and teach them to let you know if there’s anyone online giving them concern.

10. Pray together: Pray with young people and for them, asking for God’s guidance and protection as they navigate the challenges of today’s media.

Photo by Igor Rodrigues on Unsplash

A lot of things in today’s media are dangerous to our young people, and it’s our duty as adults to protect them from these things until they are ready to handle it.

Do you have a comment on this article? Or maybe other tips on how to prepare our children to handle the media? Please share with me here

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Hi. I’m Dipo. I write, speak and train on soft skills and overcoming limiting emotions such as anxiety, fear of failure, rejection, the feeling of not-being-good-enough, low self-esteem, doubt etc.

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Dipo Adebayo

I am a water engineer, softskills coach, writer & teen counselor. I write on hope and rising above shame, rejection, fear & failure. Follow on IG @dipoadebayo