Friday, October 10, 2014

The dangers of the internet and how you can protect your child

Image credits: ohsoamelia.com
We live in the web age. Gone are those days when we could only communicate via letters written by hand and sent via the post office or call an operator thousands of miles away from home to connect us with friends and family. These days, mobile phones, computers, tablets and so on make life a lot easier…or so we believe.

There is no doubt that using the internet provides us with much more information than we had access to decades ago but what are the dangers this great invention pose to the lives of your children?

There has been a recent surge in suicides amongst teenagers of recent and many of these cases have been traced to online bullying. Teenagers are now exposed to social networks such as facebook, twitter and so on; these social networks sometimes end up as a teenager’s nightmare. Many children these days are being bullied online and cannot say anything about it. During teenage years, many individuals are caught in a personal fable and believe that no one can understand what they are going through. It is hard for them to share feelings of being bullied or tormented by their mates because they don’t want to come across as losers.

As a parent, it is your duty to protect your child. You can’t protect your child if you don’t spend quality time with him or her. We all know we have to make ends meet but a little time over the weekend won’t hurt. Build a trusting relationship with your child; make your child comfortable enough to share any horror story with you, be a parent but at the same time, be a friend. Many of these online torments often result in psychological instability that eventually leads to thoughts of suicide or extreme bodily harm. Of course, there are self-indulgent habits your child may develop over the internet that may result in a more dangerous lifestyle; watching pornography, and gambling online are very common these days.

As a parent, you have the right to know what your child is doing over the internet. Freedom is good so children can learn on their own, make mistakes and move on but some mistakes are not that easy to let go of. If anything, they are more addictive than drugs and may be too late to overcome. There are things you can put in place to prevent your child from becoming addicted to such behavior. Ask your internet provider to block any sites that may lead to porn. When your child is done with the home computer, check the browser history to make sure he or she is not visiting any sites that may lead to the development of bad habits.

Lastly, teach your child about God. There is nothing that beats that! There are so many dangers out there and you can only curb the habits of your children when they are at home. What happens when they leave for the University or even move to a different country to pursue their dreams? A child that has been brought up with the fear of God in his or her heart will not indulge in activities that will lead the development of bad habits. Let the word of God be the tool you use the most when bringing up your child.

For those parents whose children are being bullied online, do not challenge the bullies. If they are peers of your child, it will make things worse. Rather convince your child to shut down that social page and create a new one if need be or stay off social networks till the tide cools off.

Only God gives wisdom; I pray He gives wisdom to parents on how best to protect their precious offspring. Stay blessed

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