PARENTS need to understand the realities of the internet to help their children use digital technology safely, according to a researcher at Durham University.
The advice features in a new book, Raising Children in a Digital Age, by Dr Bex Lewis, which will be published later this month.
Dr Lewis, a research fellow in Social Media and Online Learning, has written the book in response to parents’ worries about children’s activities online, in relation to social media, gaming sites and the availability of internet pornography.
The book comes weeks after Safer Internet Day today, which promotes safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones, especially among children and young people across the world.
Dr Lewis argues that rather than banning children from digital media, parents should allow them to be gradually introduced to different areas of the web as they get older.
The book, published by Lion Hudson, offers parents practical tips about discussing the internet with children, as well as links to a useful website where they can learn more about using digital media safely.
Dr Lewis added: “Through becoming more aware of the opportunities and potential dangers of the digital world, parents and other care-givers will be better equipped to help, and accompany the children in their care as they journey further into this exciting new world.”