How did that 8 year old drive to McDonald’s?

I’m so excited today to have as my guest Tracy Levinson, the best-selling author of “unashamed – candid conversations about dating, love, nakedness & faith.” Learn more about her ministry at

How would you feel if you found out your 8-year-old son was craving a burger one night, searched on YouTube, “How to drive a car?” extracted money from his piggy bank, on his tiptoes reached for the keys, responsibly strapped in his 4 year old sister in her carseat in the van, and successfully headed to McDonald’s for burgers? (You read it here!)

What a kid can learn on You Tube … and fast!

According to a study by Microsoft Corporation, the average human attention span has dropped from 12 seconds in 2002, to only eight seconds in 2013. This new number is only one second shorter than a goldfish, which is supposedly 9 seconds.

I sort of see technology as a freight train coming at us as parents.

Yet, I am also very confident in the goodness, grace and brilliance of our God, and His ability to give us wisdom as we navigate our world. His Spirit within every believer, no matter the age, is far greater than any challenge in this world. (1 John 4:4)

We can do this! 

But how?

Before we get into practical concepts, let’s focus on our mindsets as parents. I like to describe this through the simple image of a triangle:

Notice I have the word “emotions” on the left bottom corner of the triangle. As a parent, it is so easy to be afraid, frustrated, angry, bewildered at the culture and your child’s potential engagement with technology.

“He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty,

And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.” Proverbs 16:32

Although our emotions are valid, we do not want our parenting triangle to flip, with our emotions at the top, leading our behavior, words and decisions in our parenting. 

See the right bottom corner of the triangle? It says the law. Parenting by the law, often based on fear and control, is very tempting. 

Here is how I see it…

Fear + Rules = Pride or Failure

It encourages oppression, depression, often rebellion.

Parenting by the Spirit of God, the author of love,  is when we seek wisdom from Scripture, wise council from other believers, pray, and allow the peace of God in guiding our steps.

Let the peace of Christ [the inner calm of one who walks daily with Him] be the controlling factor in your hearts [deciding and settling questions that arise]. To this peace indeed you were called as members in one body [of believers]. And be thankful [to God always].Colossians 3:15 (Amp)

Scripture teaches that “love protects.”

This includes creating healthy, protecting boundaries with social media. God is a loving Father who wants to protect them. He can empower them with all the self-control they need over technology. Enough power all day, every day, to say “yes” or “no” to anything.

Love + Boundaries = Protection and Peace

Tomorrow Tracy will share part 2 where she shares practical tools for navigating parenting in the digital age.



  1. This great advice is a little late for my grown kids…but not for how I speak and teach my 6 wonderful grandkids! 😉

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      So glad it was helpful, Susan! Tomorrow, Tracy will share more advice with technology from babies to beyond!

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