Pay attention to what children consume online – GISF Executive Director to parents

The maiden virtual National Digital Parenting Conference, has been held with a call on parents and guardians to pay attention to what their children watch and consume online.

An e-safety Consultant and Executive Director of Ghana Internet Safety Foundation (GISF), Emmanuel Adinkra, who made the call, said that was the surest way to protect children against cyber bullying, amongst other materials and adult content not meant for kids on the internet.

“The internet age has given rise to the need of digital parenting. Parents play a key role in checking how the children use the digital media as they are the first and most important mediator. Parents, guardians, and caregivers ought to help children to stay safe on the internet,” he emphasized.

The National Digital Parenting Conference was organised by the Ghana Internet Safety Foundation (GISF) and supported by the DigitalAid International.

The theme for this all-important parenting and internet safety event was “Protecting Your Family Online: 10 Things Every Parent Should Know.”

Mr Adinkra said the event had become necessary to give parents education on internet safety in the period of COVID-19 which had caused increase in online activities by children.

“The conference is designed to raise awareness among parents on the responsible use of the internet and technology to equip them with the guidance and protection of children in this digital age especially those born in late 1990s as they are most in need of supervision on the use of digital technologies.”

He observed that “as the amount of time young people spend alone with digital media increases, the availability of parents for their interaction decreases and with this gap, traditional parenting alone cannot work.”

Mr Adinkra said the initiative formed part of the campaign and relentless efforts to boost Child Online Protection.

He encouraged the participants to find the balance between normal and problematic use of Information Communication Technology, as well as optimising opportunities for their children and eliminating the risks posed by the cyberspace.

Most importantly, parents provided feedback on the changes within their families as they applied their learnings.

A parent sharing her experience, said she started implementing the “No gadgets on the table” rule and it paved the way for meaningful dinner conversations.

The event was also graced by Information Technology experts,  Eben Asare Boafo and Gabriel Ofori Appiah, who provided valuable insights and the dangers posed by the internet.

BY TIMES REPORTER

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