The present generation of children are born in an interconnected world. Hence, they can have a very easy and quick access to the Internet, social networks, chat rooms and video game consoles. In this situation, they are exposed to a world without borders. Even though it has a lot of benefits to shape our life, it has also some risks, that cannot be avoided. For example, if the children are exposed to access these networks, it may lead to aggressive or even disruptive behavior even at home or in school. Therefore, it requires necessarily parental guidance and control, so that the children may use them properly and grow positively in virtues and personalities.
Parental task of educating their children in this digital world should not be limited to providing a list of rules and regulations to be followed strictly. The watchful guidance of the parents involves educating the children to handle these networks with responsibility, so that they may be able to control their actions and overcome the obstacles that prevent them from growing in virtue and as responsible persons.
In his Address to the Pontifical Council of Social Communication on September 21, 2013, Pope Francis said, “…the issues are not principally technological. We must ask ourselves: are we up to the task of bringing Christ into this area, or better still, of bringing others to meet Christ?”.
Family is the first school, wherein the children learn the notion of good and evil and the value system. Hence, it is there the children should be helped with care and attention to build their edifice of virtues. Primarily, the parents need to help and provide an atmosphere for the children to form themselves in faith and to make decision with human and spiritual maturity according to their age.
It may be prudent and better that the parents provide a specific plan, time and place for internet access and disconnect it at other times, particularly at night. Technology shapes us to a great extent, nevertheless, we need to be in control of it, in order to grow in human and spiritual maturity.
God bless you
Fr. Arul Joseph V.