Tue | Nov 28, 2023

Parents, guardians urged to monitor children’s use of electronic devices

Published:Saturday | July 2, 2022 | 12:05 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer


REGIONAL DIRECTOR on the Jamaica Tourist Board, Odette Soberam-Dyer, is advising parents and guardians not to allow their children’s lives to be dominated and ruled by electronic devices, as there are good and bad sides to the use of such instruments.

“I am asking you parents to be extremely vigilant. If you don’t understand what it is that they (the children) are doing (while on the devices), find somebody who understands. Don’t let them (children) slink off into a corner with a device, try to know who it is that they are engaging with online,” she said, while elaborating on some of the dangers of irresponsible posting of material on social media.

Soberam-Dyer made the comments while addressing the Bethel Primary School graduation ceremony, held in the school’s auditorium in Hopewell, Hanover, at which 100 grade six students said their farewell to the school and their teachers on Tuesday, June 28.

“One of the dangers of online use (is) children are posting stuff online that does not just affect them today, it won’t affect them just tomorrow, next week, next month, but when they reach 21 years old and want to get a job,” she stated, adding that everything about them will pop up online when a character search is done by potential employers.

She noted that the use of electronic devices is not all negative, however, as even parents can use the devices to get information on proper parenting, for job search, to learn a skill, and even ways and means to earn a living.

“Parents, I am going to beg you again to monitor the children and their online presence that they have,” she emphasised.

Turning to the graduating students, she pointed out to them that they have a basic responsibility as a child and student to be disciplined, obedient, respectful, and to have the right attitude towards learning.

She reasoned that parents have very difficult and stressful times to properly rear children, and as such, they always need the support of the children to make their lives easier. This, she said, can be achieved by children adopting the right approach to life.

In making mention of the COVID-19 pandemic, she said that the challenges faced during that period would have made individuals more resilient, innovative and resourceful.

“During this period, the ability for parents to spend quality time and bond with their children was something which I am sure many of us appreciated,” she opined, adding that both parents and children need to recognise that the pandemic is not yet over.

Soberam-Dyer praised the role of teachers within the school generally, and more particularly those of the graduating students, stating: “A teacher can make or break a child.”

Copping the award for top performing boys at the graduation ceremony were Ajani Watson, Chase Randall, Jahari Bigby and Carson Samuels, while the top performing girls awards went to Diamond Grant, Doneila Reid, Ajaneigh Sterling and Ashley Sealey.