Who’s to blame for ‘offensive’ online behavior of kids?
MANILA, Philippines — Government officials and adults who tend to curse or exhibit offensive behavior in public are partly to blame for children found making the same remarks on social media, a child expert said Thursday.
Wilma Bañaga, child protection adviser at Save The Children Philippines, noted that children tend to curse online due to foul-mouthed adults and government officials, who are being accepted in the society.
“Kapag ganito yung mga bata (If the children are behaving like this online), when they act this way whether in real life or online, their virtual life, kailangan tanungin yung sarili natin saan ba natututunan itong behavior (we need to figure out where they are learning this from),” Bañaga told INQUIRER.net in an interview.
“Nakikita nila ito, even people in government you know (are) cursing and nobody is policing them (government officials) and it is being accepted,” she said.
A Facebook post by Makati Mayor Abby Binay recently put into focus the offensive behavior being shown by children on social media.
The now-viral post showed a screen-grab of disparaging words sent to Binay through private messages by children whom she did not identify, after she didn’t suspend classes on Wednesday amid the threat of ash inhalation following the eruption of Taal Volcano.
“I see the side of other people’s kids that they don’t show to their parents. What is more scary is there are people who found this post funny!” Binay said in her FB post.
This is a just one of several private messages I receive on a daily basis. I see the side of other people's kids that…
“You cannot teach respectful communication kung ang pagtrato mo sa anak mo e minumura mo siya o sinasabihan mo nang tanga or pinaparusahan mo (if you are cursing your child or calling them ‘stupid’ or punishing them),” Bañaga said.
Without mentioning names, Bañaga lamented that with public officials cursing in public, it might be more challenging for parents to educate their children on being respectful.
“We see this, more and more people and adults who are not being good role models when it comes to behaving online. It is very challenging for parents to educate their kids… if this is being accepted in the wider society. But then again, it is something harder to control,” she said.
To better address this problem, Bañaga advised that parents place crucial roles by educating their children and to also study “advances in technologies” and social media usage to better understand their children.
“Most parents are not familiar with what is happening online. Ang mga magulang kailangan alamin ang advances ng technologies. Ano ba ang Facebook? (Parents need to understand advanced technologies. Like what is Facebook?),” she said.
To maintain a good relationship, parents should show love and affection and create clear guidance for behavior, Bañaga said.
“If we don’t have a good relationship with someone, chances are hindi naman natin pakikinggan kung hindi maayos ang relationship natin (Children won’t listen to you if you don’t have a good relationship with them),” she said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.