The maiden National Digital Parenting Conference, virtual edition, which has now become an annual affair was successfully held recently with a clarion call on parents and guardians to get closely connected to their children and get concerned and interested in the habits of children online.
This crucial event, coming at a time COVID-19 has caused massive increase in online activities, coupled with long periods of staying online, offered parental controls for the safety of children using the internet.
This, according to the organiser of the conference, Emmanuel Adinkra, e-Safety Consultant and Executive Director of Ghana Internet Safety Foundation (GISF), was the surest way to protect children against cyber bullying, among other materials and adult content not meant for kids on the internet.
“The internet age has given rise to the need of digital parenting. Parents play a key role in checking how their children use the digital media as they are the first and most important mediators. Parents, guardians and caregivers ought to help children to stay safe on the internet,” he emphasised.
Mr. Adinkra added: “the conference is designed to raise awareness among parents on the responsible use of the internet and technology to equip them with the guidance and protection of children in this digital age, especially those born in late 1990s as they are most in need of supervision on the use of digital technologies.”
He further made it clear that “as the amount of time young people spend alone with digital media increases, the availability of parents for their interaction decreases and with this gap, traditional parenting alone cannot work.”
The National Digital Parenting Conference was organised by the Ghana Internet Safety Foundation (GISF) and supported by the DigitalAid International. The theme for this all-important parenting and internet safety event was ‘Protecting Your Family Online: 10 Things Every Parent Should Know’. This initiative formed part of the campaign and relentless efforts to boost Child Online Protection.
The event was also graced by I.T experts Eben Asare Boafo and Gabriel Ofori Appiah, who provided valuable insights and a deeper look at the dangers posed by the internet.
He encouraged the participants to find the balance between normal and problematic use of ICT, as well as optimising opportunities for their children and eliminating the risks posed by the cyberspace. Most importantly, parents provided feedback on the changes within their families as they applied their learnings.
One parent, sharing her experience, said she started implementing the ‘No Gadgets on the Table’ rule and it paved the way for meaningful dinner conversations.