By Josephine Oguntoyinbo
W e are living in a world where the Internet and high tech gadgets have become the norm of the society. Though there is no doubt that the Internet and hi tech gadgets are beneficial,but one should also be aware of the dangers that lie underneath such technologies.
We also have to face the fact that our children are smarter than us when it comes to technology. A two-year-old is better at handling a smart phone or tablet than understanding how to turn the pages of a book. A five-year-old can tell you how to hook up your DVD player but not how to add and subtract.
Before the invention of computers, Internet and cell phones, parents only have to monitor the telephone conversations that their children make. It was easy to hear what they were saying. It was also relatively easy to monitor what shows they were watching because the television used to be in the family room.
Now most children have their own smartphone or laptop and once a child goes into his or her room and shut the door, they are in their own world, allowing themselves to be exposed to all sorts of harm and stuff.
Therefore, a parent has to first establish who is in authority. Many times, children manipulate the parent in such a way that they are able to get away with almost anything. It is the parent’s responsibility to issue clear guidelines regarding the use of hi tech gadgets, both inside and outside the house.
Some children are just ten years of age and they have a phone. Through phones, people contact them directly and tempt them into bad habits, phones could also be a harmful thing which makes children lose good sense and get involved in wrong doings.
Creation of Facebook pages is dangerous. Parents should be careful about their children’s safety around the house and should be taught not to speak to strangers and not to wander off on their own. They should be vigilant when they are playing outside with other children and the kind of friends they move with.
Keep screens out of children bedroom and limit the usage of connected devices that can be monitored and regulated, children must be taught that private information should never be shared on the Internet, such as addresses, birthdays, phone numbers, age, locations, school names and other personal details.
Parents must warn their children about posting potentially offensive, embarrassing or controversial contents as it can turn out later to problems. All materials posted online live are for prospective employees or recruiters among others. Also, teach them that it is never safe to post photographs of themselves online. Photos can easily be altered and sent to anyone.
Most parents are either not familiar with current technology or are technologically challenged. In order to protect children, parents have to become knowledgeable about what the world around them holds, and the environment our children are . Parents should always learn what it takes to keep children safe online.
If parents do not have time to study the hottest new gadgets or the social networks, they can get a crash course on the Internet by visiting popular technology news or reviews websites, or simply by conducting an online research, for example, how to password – protect your personal computer.
Instead of children wasting time on the Internet, discuss with them good health and hygiene. Teach them cleanliness during menstruation, avoiding smoking and taking hard drugs, saying no to premarital sex, keeping their virginity, eating in the right way, avoiding bad friends, and mental health disorders.
Most of the time, children and adults do not distinguish between what is a need or want . It is natural for parents to shower their children with material things that are really not necessities. Some of the toys that are given to children can be considered educational, but most of the time, these toys are just distractions with no real value in it.
It is training on the part of the parents to exercise over what is given to a child. This should be exercised from infancy. Once the parents become aware of the difference between needs and wants, it becomes easier to set the rules.
On a final note, parents should discuss safe online spending with children before providing them access to digital storage and programmes which offer in – app or in – game purchases. If you decide to allow your children to buy and use all gadgets without caution, the result would be “had I known.”