Time for Vigilance and Action

The British Government has warned that parents are “ill-equipped” to keep their children safe from violent and damaging influences on the internet. No doubt the same can be said for parents in the remainder of the archipelago outside the United Kingdom as well. Ed Balls, the Children Minister, made the point that they were ill equipped because they simply did not know what was going on in the web or in computer games. Staggeringly only one parent in 20 – a survey revealed – knew that children give out personal details over the internet. But this, surely, is not a matter of being ill-equipped? It is a matter of culpable ignorance. Good parents who relate to their children will not only know what their children are doing generally and how they are spending their time. They will have some idea of the influences which are going to form their character, habits and attitudes. They will be keenly interested in what they are reading, what they are watching and who their friends are. This is a big part of what parenting is about.The British Government has set up a study group to assess the impact of the internet and violent games on children. All very good – but surely we know already what uncontrolled surfing of the net is exposing children and adolescents to and what the likely effects of that will be. What is really needed is something that will help reduce that appalling ratio of one in twenty to a considerably less worrying one. 

One thought on “Time for Vigilance and Action

  1. Jim J

    I have to agree with you 100% on this one Michael. While parenting in today’s world is sure to be challenging it must begin with parents taking an active interest in all aspects of their children’s lives. As you point out this will allow them to “have some idea of the influences which are going to form their character, habits and attitudes”. To achieve this, I think parents must spend time with their children, talk to them, play with them, etc. This obviously is not easy in today’s world but I find it difficult to see how successful parenting can be achieved in any other way. Time is the most important gift that parents can give their children. Speding time with their children will allow the child to really get to know and to love their parents, and allow the parents to play a positive role in influencing the character, habits and attitudes of the child.

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