Media influences are everywhere:
Print – books, magazines, newspapers
Electronic – computers, iPads, iPods, mobiles
Children and young people have regular and sometimes unsupervised access to the media. Although the media is a powerful and useful tool to provide information, there is no doubt it is a dominating influence for all ages.
We live in a world of technology which is advancing all the time. Many children and young people have access to the internet and it is up to Parents and Carers to teach children how to be smart about the media, as it can sometimes encourage unhealthy attitudes and behaviours.
Children and young people have the opportunity to access the internet at home, in school, through iPads, iPods, games consoles and mobile phones. The internet is a great resource for helping children with their homework and for contacting friends; nonetheless it can be an extremely dangerous place where, without parental control, children can be at risk. Below are some of the risks posed by the internet:
· Online bullying
· Being contacted by an adult for sexual purposes (Grooming)
· Sharing personal information with strangers
· Viewing sexually explicit images or information
· Sending or receiving sexually explicit films, images or messages of themselves or others (this is known as “sexting” when sent by mobile phone).
·Arranging to meet someone they’ve met online
· Inform your child of the dangers on the internet
· Tell them what to do if they become worried
· Explain how information they share online can be seen by anyone
· Take an interest in what your child is doing online
· Restrict their access through parental controls
· Put the computer in a place where the whole family can see it
Access the following Websites for further information and advice:
Most teenage boys and some girls will explore pornography at some point in their lives. Soft core Pornography is widely accessible through the media including the internet but young people have access to more hard core and deviant porn as well. It is important to inform teenagers, particularly boys, and arm them with the knowledge to allow them to distinguish between what is real and what is fantasy. It is important young people take responsibility for their actions, however Porn sends out the message that sex without responsibility is acceptable and desirable. Porn is not an accurate or realistic portrayal of human sexuality but many young people are learning about sex through photographs, videos and virtual games which portray the dehumanisation of females.
· Remain calm – don’t fly off the handle
· Talk to your child – teach them Porn is not reflective of a healthy, happy sexual relationship
· Speak up – if you do not like what your child is reading or watching, tell them why. A conversation and explanation about the issue will be more effective than simply saying “You are not watching that”