Children put at risk online: Parents facing a huge challenge

Children put at risk online: Parents facing a huge challenge

Today’s parents are the first to have to consider the prospect that their children might spend more time with strangers online than they are spending with them. Those same parents, more than likely already feeling guilty that the obligations of sustaining a family make time with that family almost a novelty, have been warned that it is “incredibly important” they know who their children are speaking to online.

Even if that seems advice from the Ladybird Book of Parenting, it is all too relevant, as research established that a fifth of children aged between 8 and 10 and a quarter of 12- year-olds are talking to strangers online every day.

This Cyber Safe Ireland finding makes the old advice offered to children who walked to school — “don’t talk to strangers, don’t take sweets from strangers” — seem impossibly quaint.

There is nothing quaint, however, about the finding, after engaging with nearly 4,000 children, that 36% of eight-year-old boys and 43% of 10-year-old boys, are playing over-18s games and are exposed to violent and sexual content inappropriate for their age.

It is not difficult — or sanctimonious or prudish — to imagine that this undermines the work being done to make respect the foundation of all relationships be they personal or on a wider plane.

This report, and so many others like it, warns again that we have little or no understanding of the power, of the addictive qualities of personal screens. Let’s hope we reach that point before it is too late.

More on this topic

Court orders internet providers to block illegal streaming of live football matches from next monthCourt orders internet providers to block illegal streaming of live football matches from next month

The net minders: How would policing the internet work?The net minders: How would policing the internet work?

Early to rise: Three young Irish influencers making their mark onlineEarly to rise: Three young Irish influencers making their mark online

Bird’s eye: Why we’re hooked on animal videosBird’s eye: Why we’re hooked on animal videos

More in this Section

No winners, just losers in Public Services Card public relations fiasco No winners, just losers in Public Services Card public relations fiasco

Homelessness is not just an urban issueHomelessness is not just an urban issue

Europe’s innovation agenda could become model for othersEurope’s innovation agenda could become model for others

Beef industry is being eaten alive by a confluence of tough eventsBeef industry is being eaten alive by a confluence of tough events


Lifestyle

Kya deLongchamps meets the man who is opening a new chapter on his native FermoyVintage View: Opening a new chapter on Fermoy's story

More From The Irish Examiner