Have discussions with your children about what they are listening to and looking at online to help them establish boundaries.
Have discussions with your children about what they are listening to and looking at online to help them establish boundaries. iStock

Best online censor for kids is parent supervision

AS PARENTS it is only natural to want to keep our children safe. We want to hold their hands as they explore the world and protect them from danger, but today's parents are facing a tough battle.

The accessibility of technology and the availability of the internet means children can easily access social media, music, images and videos, making it more difficult to protect them from obscene and violent material.

The viewing opportunities are endless and as a result it has become necessary to carefully censor what they are exposed to.

It is completely logical and reasonable to ensure our youngsters are not subjected to things that they are still too young to understand or are emotionally unfit to handle.

Censorship is one answer to the growing problem of deciding what we want our children to watch, hear or play.

To help parents pick appropriate material for their children based on content, theme, violence, language, nudity, sensuality, drug abuse, and other elements, rating systems are used.

The reality is, it means nothing when no one is there to monitor children's actions and discuss appropriate behaviour.

Despite all the warnings and ratings, children are still listening to the explicit lyrics in songs, playing violent games, watching television shows containing swearing and sexual content, and seeing movies that are bloodier and more graphic.

Parents need to take the initiative and decide whether material may have a harmful effect on their children's thoughts and attitudes. Surely they know their kids best.

It is their responsibility to help their children learn right from wrong, good from bad, healthy from unhealthy. It should not be left up to schools or other institutional groups to teach them.

This means parents taking the time to have discussions with their offspring about what they are listening to and looking at and helping them establish boundaries.

Sure, governments and organisations can impose regulations and provide guidance with this, like the Australian Classification Board that makes classification decisions for films to assist parents, guardians and their children decide if a movie is suitable.

But censorship may have given parents a false sense of security.

What we need to do is show our children that knowledge and understanding is the most empowering censor they can use.