Children and adolescents are growing up in a world where there are many different types of media. They watch television in their free time, play computer games, use the Internet to find information and network with others and communicate with their friends by mobile phone. The new media are a normal part of life in your child’s school and day. They offer children and adolescents many opportunities for development and learning, but also entail risks. Television and the Internet are addictive, children and adolescents can be mobbed, their personal details and images can be misused or they may be subjected to sexual abuse.
Just as in the physical world, children need adult support in the digital world. It is important for you to explore the age-appropriate opportunities offered by digital media together with your child when they are young and discuss with him or her what you find out. Decide with your child how long he or she can spend using digital media and set clear boundaries. You will be guiding your children towards safe media consumption and they will learn to view content critically, recognise potential risks and know how to protect themselves.