Children and the Internet: A Parents’ Guide

Being a good parent is tough especially when it comes to finding the balance between guiding your children in the right direction and giving in to their demands. The use of internet and the upcoming technological upgrades only make this harder as children try to keep up with their peers in the virtual world of social media. Parents cannot guarantee safety anymore as the balance between monitoring their children’s social media use and infringing their privacy becomes more blurred by the day. As this piles up the worries for most parents, one father of four isn’t left behind.

He found that his eldest daughters who are 11 and 10 secretly set up instagram accounts, something that had him banning their use of mobile phones and any social media platform. Although some people may see his move as being too harsh, it can be justified by a number of uncertainties surrounding the internet such as bullying and predation. This is especially heightened if one is a celebrity, which is the case for this dad Oliver. Shielding children from social media usually becomes controversial especially when one is considered a modern parent, something that most parents agree on. It becomes hard when the parents indulge in internet use and prohibit their children from doing the same.

Another parent who is a mother of two also shared her concerns about the internet not being taught well in schools, as it’s only mentioned in safety and danger context. Instead, it should be covered in depth stating the intellectual aspects and other factors like the communication and bullying. From another parent, as much as he tries to monitor his son’s usage of the internet he still gets worried because he feels it’s not enough. The ease with which children can access links including inappropriate one is a great concern to him.

All these concerns are shared by many other parents and rightfully so since a report in England states that children who engage in computers, video games and TVs tend to experience more levels of depression, anxiety and emotional distress compared to their counterparts who don’t. The public health sciences unit also found that watching TV for more than 3 hours a day was related to conduct disorder.Another effect of internet use is that children don’t bother to exercise for at least an hour every day, which is also unhealthy.

All this, together with the safety concerns are enough to rattle every parent. Other than monitoring and education, other ways to curb these issues is sensibility during interventions. Warning the children not to be too trusting and to be mindful of what they post including pictures, as well as supervising their accounts and monitoring their friends are some of the great ways that can help since the internet is here to stay. As a parent you can also try to teach the children to focus more on the positive uses of the internet like learning rather than social media. The topic of children and the internet will only continue to be a concern for all parents but as technology advances, so do parents hope to find more effective and better solutions.