Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 28, 2019 (SKNIS): Parents and guardians in St. Kitts and Nevis are being urged to pay more attention to their child/children’s online presence to ensure that they are not being exposed to harmful content that may lead to issues such as depression, truancy, drug abuse, antisocial behaviour and a host of other challenges.
But keeping abreast of such digital footprints may prove difficult for some adults, particularly those who have a phobia of technology, are overextended trying to make a living, or are otherwise distracted.
On Wednesday’s edition of Working for You (August 28), Acting Director of the Department of Probation and Child Protection Services, Gerald Connor, highlighted the issue which basically boils down to parental supervision.
“Parents need to remember that we live in an [era] where things develop quickly and children are more open-minded to technology … and that is one of the things that allows them to manoeuvre around their parents who are not so technologically sound,” Mr. Connor stated. “Some parents will tell you ‘oh I can’t handle laptop, I can’t handle this, I can’t handle that’ but it is for you to understand those things to keep up with what your children are doing otherwise they are going to run circles around you.”
While devices such as smartphones, smart televisions and video game consoles have parental control functions, Mr. Connor said it is very important for parents to develop and maintain close relationships with their child/children.
“You find that a lot of reasons why a lot of children end up leaning towards other individuals is because of a lack of relationship, lack of understanding between them and their parents,” he stated, noting that this can force some persons to join gangs or form other unhealthy relationships.
The resulting social challenges may have been avoided with strict parental supervision and expressions of love at home. Mr. Connor indicated that this is where any intervention must start.
“Parents need to understand we (the Department of Probation and Child Protection Services) are not taking up your responsibility. Our department is basically to help you get back your responsibility and get you back in charge of your household,” Mr. Connor said.