Children`s Charity: Should Bedrooms Be No Phone Zones For Kids?
Created on: 27th June 2017
The charity Fegans, who work with Children from the ages of 4 to 18 are concerned about Children being unsupervised when they access the internet. As a result of the information below, they ask, should mobiles be banned from bedrooms?
Fegans say that 44% of teenagers take their phones to bed and use them during the night, but this exposes them to many risks:
• Sexting – Sending intimate self-images to friends that can be widely shared via social media. This can lead to being blackmailed leading to further coercion, damage, or worse.
• Trolling – Being bullied. Particularly pernicious because it is public, and via smart phones relentless, throughout the day and night. Messages include “hurt yourself” and other damaging words.
• Pornography – The average age that a child (male and female) watches pornography is 11 years old. 88% of pornography involves some form of violence towards women. Our children are at risk of being exposed to sexual violence and developing copycat expectations at an incredibly early age.
• Gaming – ‘18’ rated games are routinely played by 12 and 13 years olds. The imagery and desensitising nature of this cannot be over emphasized, nor can the risk of addiction and exposure to online groomers.
• Online grooming – Peter Wanless, CEO of the NSPCC recently described the internet as “a playground for paedophiles”
• Overuse and an unhealthy attachment to the online world can impact on sleep, concentration, relationships and social skills.
Fegans recommends that parents do not allow connectivity in a child’s bedroom. Any contact that can be used to blackmail or groom your child is more difficult if the computer is in the lounge or kitchen.
If your child is an avid or even addicted computer user (e.g. gamer) spend time with them while they are online. Try to understand, and enter their world and make a connection.
The NSPCC advises: “Talking to your child regularly and being a part of their online world will help you to set and develop boundaries from an early age, meaning you can identify risks before they become issues.”
It is also important to ensure you as a parent are a good digital role model. Are you constantly checking your emails or social media? As a family try to have regular screen free time, enjoy meals together. Make time to talk to each other and - just as important - listen to each other without the interruption of technology.
Posted by David Pilkington
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