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DEAR CHRISTINE: Monitor your children’s devices


DEAR CHRISTINE: Monitor your children’s devices

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DEAR CHRISTINE, THE NUMBER ofteens and children who engage in inappropriate “sexting” and “texting” is shocking.

These behaviours can be evidence of sexual exploitation, harassment, bullying and teen dating violence. The results of this teenage behaviour can be devastating and have lifetime consequences.

Children sometimes are afraid to go to parents or other responsible adults to seek help when they need it. Often they may not even know they are in trouble or exposing themselves to danger by their behaviour. How long do you think it takes a “sext” between a girl and her boyfriend to make it to a child porn website?

A cellphone is a computer, and parents are responsible for ensuring the safety of their children and protecting them from predators and others who might harm them.

Today’s smartphone tells us all sorts of things that we as parents need to know. It also has connections to social networking and applications that allow teenagers to blindly send their phone numbers to anonymous users and have conversations.

The world haschanged with this technology and the attention we pay as parents must change with it. I strongly urge parents to check their children’s phones and computers regularly. I suggest to parents to start doing it when their children are young and explain that it is part of their job as a parent.

For young men and women who think this is a good idea, remember that nothing deleted is ever truly gone – it can be retrieved.

Whether it’s online, on a computer or a cellphone, act with decorum, use common sense and you’ll never need to worry about getting in trouble for your behaviour.

– T.Y.

Dear T.Y.,

Thanks for the advice you have shared. I too agree that parents should be able to check on their children’s computer/cellphones, to keep an update on what’s going on in their lives, the sites they are visiting and with whom they are conversing.