The attitude of parents is the most important thing to favor critical behavior on the internet

It does not occur to anyone to say that Internet it offers no advantages, just as nobody could say that the network is free of dangers. It is up to each individual to avoid the bad of this virtual world in order to take advantage of all its virtues, something that is very difficult for the little ones, who often do not know what is best for them.

At this point, parents should act as a controlling agent and transmitter of values. There are many ways to get children to avoid the undesirable contents of Internet, from the imposition of parental control tools that limit access to certain websites, to the teaching of values ​​such as responsibility or critical thinking. Now, a new study conducted by the CEU San Pablo University It shows that the education received by the youngest children is the best tool in this regard.

More education, less limits

This study called 'The influence of parents on the acquisition of critical skills on the Internet', has brought together a total of 765 families with children in Infant and Primary Education. All of them analyzed the measures that were taken to avoid the dangers of the Internet and the success of them. After analyzing the results, it was shown that in households where there was an emphasis on education based on critical thinking, there was greater achievement of results.

The educational level that the children receive is the most important factor in this sense since it depends on the critical ability of a child when facing the content that is found online. Even more than tools such as parental controls or limitations since these techniques only favor the curiosity of children, who do not understand the reasons why they do not have to consume a certain content.

Therefore, researchers advise that parents become tutors rather than controllers or private entities in the use of the internet. At this point the parents become partners of experiences allowing that the smallest ones are raised if what they visit is adequate or not. Adults can contribute their visions so that children identify more quickly what is most harmful to them.

Secure Internet

At this point, it is worth asking how to educate to the new generations to favor the use of the Internet in a safe way. From the Junta de Andalucía it is recommended to use communication and negotiation to favor a climate of trust. For this it will be necessary that the parents can rethink situations clarify doubts, helping the children to evaluate and interpret adequately the information in the network that could otherwise be confusing.

The capacity of persuasion of some websites that affects the children to be contrasted with the mediating role of the parents, who have the mission to explain to their children the true background and meaning of the messages. The climate of trust must be such that children are able to communicate to their parents what bothers them or disturbs what they see on the Internet.

At this point, a education marked by the following values:

- Confidentiality. The child must learn to maintain an identity on the internet to protect himself from the dangers. The real name should not be revealed or give your address or phone or show photos to strangers online.

- Sincerity. You have to look for real information, do not fall into hoaxes or give something for the mere fact of having found on the internet.

- Freedom. The child must be free to browse the internet, but knowing that he has some responsibilities to follow in terms of schedules and type of content to visit.

Damián Montero

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