Being a parent in the digital age is not a walk in the park and I can bet my last shilling that many parents are frustrated because they have no clue on how to go about it.
When growing up, the only electronic forms of entertainment were the radio, television, and video. Most houses only had radios in the houses while the other two were only mostly found in some households meaning that many parents did not have to grapple with the issue of parental control.
The households that owned the two did not have much of a problem because TV officially started operating at 4.00 pm and this means that the parent was home when the programmes aired. Parents were also lucky because the rules on watershed hours were also observed by the National broadcaster and subsequent TV stations that came along.
As far as video was concerned, they are the ones who bought the movies for their children which means that they were in control of what their kids and by extension, the kids in their neighborhoods were watching.
Things are, however, different now as the advent of the internet and availability of high-speed connectivity in our homes have introduced so many other gadgets in the house.
In addition to the TV, we now have laptops, tablets and mobile phones that enable people to get other forms of entertainment. This is one area where you can forget running to mama for help because she wouldn’t know where to start. At this point, most parents are just winging it and hoping for the best.
The other day I saw an online conversation about the right time to buy your child a phone. There were different views with some parents saying that they had to buy their children phones because they travel all over the country or the world and needed to communicate with their children.
Some said they needed to know if the househelp was mistreating their children and following instructions. Others said that they bought their children phones to reward them for something good they did.
The opposing group insisted that phones could connect to the internet were not ideal because there is harmful content on the internet and fishy online users could also harm their children. They opined that it is very hard to control what children are doing on their phones.
As aforementioned, children can access many applications, TV programmes, movies through their phones and this can happen when they are away from you. This can be on the playground when they are with their friends and so on. This fact causes sleepless nights for parents who now have more to worry about as opposed to when they just worried about social media use for their children. It’s the kind of thing that makes you damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Parental control tips at this point are very necessary.
Phones and TV are not the only sources of entertainment because the world of on-demand streaming services from the internet is taking the world by storm with entities like Showmax leading the pack.
With such services, you can access all manner of programs and movies whenever you need them. There are all kinds of genres ranging from cartoons, movies and any popular TV series that is known to make viewers become couch potatoes for a whole weekend. We can all agree that not all programs found online are for kids because their content is for a mature audience. Just the thought of children accessing such content is enough to send chills down any spine.
You would also not like to raise TV zombies who alternate from being in the dining room and living room throughout the day. Children should be encouraged to play outside, interact with others or catch up with some school work and revise their weak areas. Only parental controls and screen times can help in this.
Most of the parents who leave their children under the care of househelps are also desperate for tips on how to control what their children do. Do not despair if you find yourself in such a situation because this video has some of the best tips to help you guide your children in navigating the internet which can sometimes feel like a minefield.