mentoring kids' faith

Navigating the Digital Storm: 5 Tips for Mentoring Kids’ Faith

Lisa HollowayBy Lisa Holloway5 Minutes

In an age where screens dominate our daily lives, parents face a daunting challenge: How can we safeguard our children’s faith amidst the deluge of digital media?

Pew Research indicates that over 71% of U.S. parents harbor concerns about their kids’ screen time and the potential exposure to harmful content online. While they acknowledge not all content is created equal, the AACAP recommends limiting normal screen time for preschoolers (ages 2-5) to around 1 hour on weekdays. Yet many young children far surpass these limits for screen-based entertainment.

Meanwhile, research from Barna reveals a pivotal truth: 50% of individuals come to faith in Christ before age 12. Over half of them make this decision before the age of 9. During these formative years, children internalize family values, and, from ages 7-10, they begin absorbing faith values.

Even so, it’s a given that most children will spend far more of their day on screen-based entertainment than they will in church or other value-centered activities. The statistics are sobering, but they underscore the urgency of mentoring our children through the digital storm.

Who’s Shaping Your Children’s Worldview?

According to George Barna, media plays a significant role in shaping worldview. This highlights the importance of monitoring and guiding children’s media exposure.

So who’s shaping your children’s worldview?

Luke 6:45 reminds us …

“Good people have good things saved in their hearts. That’s why they say good things …
What people say with their mouths comes from what fills their hearts.”

Clearly, as parents and mentors, it’s crucial to consider what our children are filling their hearts and minds with through media consumption. And the early years may even be more critical than you think.

In fact, Barna suggests that a person’s worldview begins taking shape as early as 15 to 18 months and is almost fully formed by age 13. Unfortunately, much of the content produced and consumed today undermines biblical values, making intentional mentoring even more vital.

5 Tips for Mentoring Children’s Faith

A living faith and biblical outlook doesn’t happen by chance. Navigating the digital storm requires practical strategies:

      1. Limit screen time and encourage alternative activities such as reading together, active play, and engaging in social interactions. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy! Young kids love simply being involved in family activities—even helpful ones!
      2. Monitor what children watch. Parental controls may limit some negative content, but it won’t reinforce the values you want to fill their hearts with. When you take the extra step to provide values-based, parent-approved content, you ensure children’s entertainment is faith-friendly. You can promote shows that are imaginative and joyful—not simply the bare minimum of acceptable.
      3. Watch content with them—at least a sampling, so you’re familiar with themes, characters, language, and overall worldview. The iffy content, mean behavior, and often disturbingly adult humor in some so-called kids’ shows will probably surprise you. Giving your time in this way offers another opportunity to tip the scales toward wholesome, God-honoring content as you spend quality time together.
      4. Foster open dialogue about faith and values. Provide guidance on how to apply biblical principles in everyday situations. For instance, talk through what characters did in shows and what a Christ-like response could look like. This creates a safe space for children to process and discern truth. It also lays the groundwork for important conversations when they’re older.
      5. Reinforce identity in Christ. Emphasize the significance of living in God’s grace and reject negative labels found in secular media. One way to do this is to find scripture to read over your kids about how God sees them—something that becomes their verse. Then when they encounter destructive words about who they are, you can point them back to God’s beautiful truth.

Secular media often promotes an unbiblical or even actively anti-Christian worldview—but it’s not the only force that can shape our children’s world. With these simple, effective steps, we can equip them to be salt and light in a world that often feels dark. Together, we can empower our children to navigate the digital storm with faith, resilience, and a heart filled with the everlasting love of God.