Vice head of the Education Evaluation Research Board under Việt Nam National Institute of Educational Sciences – Chu Cẩm Thơ spoke to Sức khỏe & Đời sống (Health and Life) newspaper about online safety for children.
A famous YouTuber in Việt Nam – Thơ Nguyễn – has been fined for posting superstitious content. Late last month, she posted a clip on her TikTok and YouTube pages in which she asked a doll for help in her studies. As a mother of two daughters, how do you help your children use the internet safely?
I’m not sure how to help my daughters when they use the internet. At times, I have been surprised to see what my children do when they go online.
For example, they recently stopped watching YouTube, instead, they are watching other channels, joining social networks and closed groups.
Their schools have rules that aim to protect them from negative content online, and we pay attention to this as a family. I used to be very worried about their internet use. I questioned if my education methods and my care was enough and how I could help them.
I discussed it with my husband and he always told me to remember what I was like when I was their age. We were not so different.
Children usually want to express themselves by seeking idols or stories that they feel close to. In some cases, they are attracted by what they don’t have or things that are different. It’s a process to adapt in life.
I think telling our children what to do is no longer important. What we as parents do every day is more helpful as the children can see and follow us.
Showing your children how you use the internet is better than telling them what to do online.
With just a click, a child can access many things online, both healthy and unhealthy. Many parents are worried about this. Do you have any advice for them?
The internet has become part of our daily life. To many people, they find news and information available online and they trust it. However, many people make and spread false and incorrect information or fake news online.
We as internet users have to face all the issues and prepare ourselves to deal with them. Unfortunately, the internet was not available when many people were young. Our parents did not have any experience. Meanwhile, in the age of information technology, the internet is changing quickly. In terms of the speed and diversification of information, nowadays, no conventional communication channels can compete.
I want to repeat that parents can do nothing better than show their children how they themselves use the internet. The children can see and imitate what their parents do.
A small survey shows that many Vietnamese parents don’t have good internet skills, including using it for too long and do not know how to ensure online safety.
Many parents are not aware of harmful videos that go viral, sometimes they show the harmful video to their children.
Adults also need to learn how to use the internet correctly and then, we can know how to respond to our children’s actions.
What about the roles of schools and teachers in ensuring online safety for students?
We have not made sufficient preparations in both understanding and facilities to ensure complete online safety for children. So, we have to accept a fact that many teachers fear the internet and consider it a risky environment for their work.
However, teachers today have to use the internet as a way to communicate and connect with students. The internet is also their new working tool.
So, teachers also need to be equipped with proper internet skills. VNS