By Ikenna Uwadileke
Abuja – An ICT Consultant, Mr Ademola Gboyega, has advised parents to always monitor their children’s online activities to protect them from possible harm.
He made the call in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.
He said that while it remained imperative that parents change their parenting methods in the digital age to meet up with the demands of the time, they must be conscious of the devices their children were
He added that “since technology has become irresistible in the daily lives of the kids, parents must prepare the children for digital future by ensuring that they acquire relevant skills.
“However, in doing this, there is need to put things in check by keeping lines of communication open.”
Gboyega stressed the need for parents to put relevant internet security measures to ensure that core values were restored in their children.
“Children access the internet using variety of devices: virtually all parents say their children have access to the computers, video game console, cell phones or tablets, as well as an MP3 player at the age of 11.
“However, while most of them are confident in their ability to manage their children’s technology use, confidence is still low among some segments.”
The consultant added that aside from monitoring the amount of time children spend online and who they interact with, parents must also keep track and manage the children’s use of traditional media.
According to him, parents who identify educational and informational benefits as way in which their children can benefit from technology use, they should not underestimate the ways in which their children can be harmed.
“Parents must guard against negative consequences like stalkers, child molesters, predators and bad people lurking online.
“This also includes inappropriate materials which children may come across like porn or sexual materials.”
Some parents also reacted to the potential benefits and harms of using technology.
Mrs Joy Ndifereke, a parent and a civil servant in Abuja, said that the benefits were more than the harms “because our children can use their smart phones to study: do research.
“Even though technology can be used negatively, I believe the benefits are more, especially now that we are in 21st century.”
Another parent and civil servant in Abuja, Mrs Elizabeth Mmerenini, said “the use of internet by children must be closely monitored by parents and guardians.
“The internet is worldwide and children can be exposed to many unpalatable materials that can affect them positively or negatively.”
Another parent, Mr Emmanuel Ehijene, expressed concern over the attitude of children who were always glued to their phones, conversing with imaginary persons who might be teaching them bad things.
“I think there is too much media stuff with kids and not enough old fashioned for our children to know what is good for them.”