How do you know? How can you be sure?
Let’s be honest, most parents don’t know, and most are not sure. They like to think they are, but deep down, there’s this nagging doubt: is my child safe within the ICT world?
You can’t stop it, nor turn the tide. Most of us don’t want to either, because we see that ICT is also something God has placed within His creation for man to discover and develop. The possibilities are amazing and we’re getting used to the ‘latest advancement’ being announced regularly. And to think that God has put this (and more) in place, and knowingly said to Adam “fill the earth and subdue it.”
But there is a dark side which prompts the question and feeds the nagging doubt. Is my child safe? What should, or shouldn’t I be doing to ensure her safety? How do I lead my son through the ICT passage from childhood to adulthood? When do I stop checking closely, when do I just let it go? How good is a net nanny? How does cyber bullying work, and can I control this? Who is my daughter really talking to?
The other day, I came across an alarming scenario. This student had just turned 17. His parents said to him: congratulations man, here’s your gift. You’re old enough… check out the set of wheels in the garage. We’re sure this will be useful; have fun.
Not really all that alarming, but change the 17 to 12, and the ‘set of wheels’ to ‘phone’. The point is that when it comes to driving, we recognise that there is a training program consisting of exposure, awareness, teaching, practise, testing which occurs before the young adult drives off by themselves. And even then, we tend to hold our breath for a while.
The question is: Do we take a similar approach with regards to growing in ICT usage?
With Christian Greetings,
M Plug, Principal