Office urges parents to learn about 'net'

Parents need to know something about email, chat rooms and the risks associated with the use of the internet to protect their children from sexual exploitation and bullying, Sydney's archdiocesan Marriage and Life Office has warned.

Director of the Office "Chris Meney said it was not sufficient to plead ignorance by stating that children are more internet savvy than parents, The Catholic Weekly reported.

"There is an enormous point at stake. It relates to the welfare of one's own children and the importance of being sufficiently adept so as to more ably protect them from harm," Mr Meney said.

"We are appropriately concerned about the dangers of young drivers being exposed to risky situations and as a community we are taking increasing steps to monitor their development and to equip them with ways to diminish such risks.

"As parents we need to do the same with the dangers of chat rooms, internet pornography and the like," he said

Mr Meney added bullying, sexual exploitation and pornography should always be shunned and policed by parents.

"Parents have always had a responsibility to shield their children from danger and in the case of internet chat rooms, parents need to take particular note." he said.

A recent survey in Girlfriend magazine showed that more than a third of teenage girls in Australia have been sexually harassed via the internet, and more than a quarter admit to cyber-bullying of other girls.

It also showed that more than two-thirds of teenagers had tried to hide their internet use from their families; almost half felt their relationships suffered because of excessive internet use; 70 per cent had accessed pornography sites by accident; 41 per cent had been asked to post naked pictures of themselves.

Parents warned: learn about 'net' (Catholic Weekly 11/11/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Life Office, Archdiocese of Sydney
Catholic Weekly

ACU vice-chancellor urges tighter control on Internet (CathNews, 16/10/07)

8 Nov 2007