PSYCHOLOGIST Wayne Madzeru has called on parents to actively monitor their children’s internet usage in order to ensure a safe online environment and protect their emotional and psychological well-being.
He suggested that parents establish open lines of communication, set boundaries and implement effective parental controls.
Madzeru stressed that children exposed to pornographic material are at a higher risk of engaging in risky sexual behaviours, leading to unintended consequences such as adolescent pregnancies.
He urged parents to teach their children about the potential risks and dangers of the internet, including responsible online behaviour and privacy. Madzeru recommended that parents stay informed about unrestricted internet access and utilise parental control software to restrict access to inappropriate websites and content.
“Exposure to explicit content at an early age can lead to distorted views on relationships, sexual objectification, and a lack of understanding about consent.
“Therefore, parents should establish an environment of trust and open dialogue with children, encouraging them to discuss their online experiences and concerns,” said Madzeru.