24 sata: “Children and discrimination: Teach them to accept themselves and others and know how to respect differences”
On how to teach children to respect differences, journalist Tina Kos published in the daily…
Children use the computer for learning and for fun. One study conducted in Croatia showed that every second pupil used the computer and that the use of the computer depended on the gender, age, place of residence, education and employment of parents. Computers are used more by children in big cities whose both parents are employed and have an academic degree.
Using the computer, children can develop their memory, methods of learning and problem solving skills, as well as their feeling of competence and self-confidence. Computer games can also motivate children with communication difficulties to associate with peers of similar interests. The child can exercise coordination eye-hand, spatial relations and representation skills. Regardless of parents’ preferences, the child will get in touch with computer technology. Computer literacy is part of school programmes and it is practically impossible not to use computers. Besides, the use of the computer has proved to induce motivation for learning, so in some cases the computer is selected for child support, e.g. for children with special needs.
The Internet is ever more attractive communication medium with a series of advantages, e.g. fast access to information including academic research and travelling opportunities, data about schools and colleges, different products and services, easy browsing through the news, connecting and communication with people, even the opportunity for fast and simple correspondence with peers and people from different parts of the world. It teaches children how to solve problems, helps the development of strategies necessary for data selection, offers opportunities for experience, opinions and information sharing with peers or people with similar interests or problems, e.g. sites of celebrities fans, automobiles or some video games fans.
In the virtual world of the Internet, all risks and dangers are not equal
It is not rare that adults attenuate the dangers a child can encounter. If the child does not say it, we are prone to thinking that children are safe. It may be difficult for adults to talk about these dangers, and sometimes adults, parents and teachers actually do not protect the child, but protect themselves from difficult issues. This is why it is important that parents are familiar with and aware of the dangers children may encounter while using the Internet.
Children may come across inappropriate information including pornography, pages which instigate hatred, animosity or discrimination, gory and violent scenes, misinformation and exaggeration of the news. They can be maltreated or chased by people and often by other children who are rude, insulting or threatening. Besides, someone can send them a software virus or break into their computer. There is a risk that by filling in forms for participating in various online competitions children may reveal important personal data and become targets of various frauds. They may become victims of paedophiles or adult persons with hidden agendas who will try to coax them into a meeting or betray their trust in some other way, e.g. by publishing their photos.
It is important to bear in mind that the Internet enables anonymity which is impossible to achieve by any other means of communication. This anonymity liberates and induces people into communicating more intimately than they would do it in personal contacts. It also enables giving false identities which necessitates parents’ supervision over child’s use of the Internet. If the child tells you that s/he has made a good friend via the Internet, remind her/him that all s/he knows about that ‘friend’ is what the person has written and that none of it has to be true.
How can parents and other adults reduce risks that their children may be exposed to on the Internet
In case there are any signs of hostile intentions in the persons getting in touch with your child, getting hold of your or your child’s personal data, threatening your child or you, ASK FOR HELP.