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“Phone is a tool, venting anger on it only shows the helplessness of adults”

Psychologist: 'Phone is just a tool, venting anger on it only shows the helplessness of adults'
Psychologist Tran Thanh Nam said that it is necessary to teach children skills to avoid pitfalls on social networks, not to control phones. (Photo: NVCC)

That is the view of Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tran Thanh Nam, Dean of Faculty of Educational Sciences (University of Education, Vietnam National University, Hanoi) with Newspaper. The World & Vietnam related to the story of a mother who got angry when she discovered that her children accessed unhealthy images on social networks.

In your opinion, what kind of content is considered harmful in cyberspace?

There is a lot of unhealthy information on the Internet that we often call by the term “junk”.

These are information with distorting, fabricating or impersonating contents about organizations or individuals; violent content, hate messages, depraved cultural products; content that causes fear, hostility, intimidation, bullying or harassment online; content that promotes the use of addictive substances; Content that promotes suicide and self-harm…

There were 76.95 million Internet and social network users in Vietnam as of January 2022. There are many risks, especially young people. Most children start using the Internet actively between the ages of 9-11.

The age of children starting to use the Internet is decreasing, even 2-3 years old have started using devices connected to the Internet.

The age group of 7-12 years old, access to the Internet and social networks has tripled in the past 10 years. Average usage time is 6h38p in February 2022.

Children online mainly chat, play games, send messages, read news, post photos, watch movies, listen to music, shop, email, study and search for information.

So, from the school side, what have teachers done to limit this in the teaching process, according to you?

The education sector is aware of this problem. I was invited to participate in writing the book series “Guidelines for safe use of the Internet for elementary students” approved by Deputy Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Huu Do from 2020.

But in the past 2 years, we have been too concerned about health issues and the prevention of the Covid-19 epidemic, so the preparation of instructions on online safety skills for children has been forgotten.

“Putting anger out on the phone may only give parents the feeling that they are in control of the situation for a moment. But then regret, and a lot of trouble follow, because the child begins to resist, disobey. Parents too. Being angry does not make children obey, but sometimes makes things worse.”

Teachers during online learning also mainly instruct students to use devices, not to use technology safely. In the early stages of online learning, we have witnessed unfortunate accidents, including strangers entering inappropriate content in the classroom.

In particular, the teachers themselves also revealed offensive images. Adults have no skills, how can they educate their children?

In order to limit the negative effects of cyberspace on students, it is necessary to equip them with skill groups. That is, ensure a balance in the real life and the virtual world; build a healthy self-image online; digital information security; friendly communication online; troubleshooting and online bullying; network news and network news reviews.

Many parents shared, they felt shocked, even broke their children’s phones, banned their children from using computers, phones… when they discovered that their children access links, or groups and associations with content. toxic content. Should that action be?

We need to understand that in today’s technological world, it is not possible to disconnect children from the Internet because there is also knowledge, connection, job opportunities and development opportunities for children.

Of course, there are also many pitfalls on social media. But the pitfalls, we will learn skills to avoid, but the phone is just a tool, venting on it only shows the helplessness of adults.

In addition, it gives children a very ugly symbol of angry parents, losing control of their emotions. It makes our children feel guilty, miserable. It cracks the parent-child relationship.

Such venting may only give parents a momentary sense of control over the situation. But then there is regret, and then a lot of trouble follows because children start to resist, not listen to their parents anymore. Getting angry does not make children obey, but sometimes makes things worse.

For parents who have been angry with their children, we should have the courage to sit down with our children and apologize. Make your child understand that behind the angry reaction that day was love, concern of parents, desire for the child to be good… but the way it was expressed did not reflect those things.

Psychologist: 'Phone is just a tool, venting anger on it only shows the helplessness of adults'
Children feel lonely when their parents control their phones and computers. (Source: Youth)

What should parents do and say about sex education today?

With children entering puberty, they begin to be curious about gender, interested in reproductive health. Therefore, it is normal for children to actively search for content 18+ when entering this age.

According to some statistics, 18+ content accounts for about 21% of online content, so our children accidentally accessing this content is not an isolated case.

So, when I caught my child watching 18+ content, according to the correct procedure, I was shocked. But wise parents need to realize that, your child may be at an age where he is learning about gender issues and we have educated him too late, or we have carelessly given him an internet connection device. without teaching you a safe method at all.

“For those parents who are already angry with their children, we should have the courage to sit down with them and apologize. Make them understand that behind the angry reaction that day was love and concern. Parents, is wishing for their children to be good… but the way they were expressed did not reflect those things.”

But especially with 18+, it’s too late to wait until caught. Parents see their children constantly stay up to look at their phones, bring the phone to a private room to lock the door, browser history is always empty, parents enter the room are startled and switch to another computer window… all is a sign of doubt.

Therefore, parents need to equip their children with knowledge about network safety. At the same time, be ready to talk with your child about 18+ knowledge according to the scientific approach.

To do that, parents need to build trust. Tell your child: “I may be busy right now but will definitely make time to listen to you”, “I understand how you feel about your concerns”, “I will keep it a secret if you want”, “I am very happy that you trusted to share”…

Some children will reason that “parents need to respect their children’s privacy”, not to look at their children’s phones or check their computers. So how should parents behave, how should they be controlled so as not to hurt children?

Parents need to talk to their children about the relationship between respect and safety. How many parents know how to limit 18+ content on their children’s phones?

How many parents know how to remotely manage their children’s phone time? How many parents know how to install apps that manage software usage and how websites are accessed?

Such management through the application both respects privacy while keeping children safe in the virtual world.

Thank you PGS!

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