Stay Vigilant

By Janet Barresi

Superintendent of Public Instruction

An editorial in The Oklahoman on Tuesday suggests parents should more closely monitor their children’s television and Internet habits, based on a U.S. Supreme Court case in which a relaxation of the Federal Communications Commission’s decency policy is being considered.

I agree that parents need to always be vigilant about what their children view on television and on the Internet, regardless of how much government control we allow.

In this day and age, children will be exposed to more than they should be through various media outlets, but this need not overwhelm parents. Have frank, age-appropriate discussions often with your children about what is acceptable and what isn’t for their viewing. Don’t just preach to them; listen to them. Don’t let your young children cloister away in their rooms with their computers or their television sets for hours on end without parental oversight. Check in on them. Periodically check their cell phones as well. Set up some parent guards on all media.

Your children may give you some grief about this perceived breach of privacy now, but when they grow to be responsible, safe adults, you can give yourself a pat on the back for your wisdom and caution.

Last updated on January 20, 2012