The July cover story on protecting children from the exploitative porn industry was relevant and revealing. In the age of nuclear families, when both parents are working, and smartphones, tablets and the Internet have become ubiquitous, there’s no way parents can monitor and control children’s screen activities 24/7.
Smartphones are a two-edged sword — they are absolutely required to keep in touch with children and monitor their safety, but they are also a Pandora’s Box of online evils. I am at a loss about ways and means to censor online information because my grasp of technology is limited to email and watching movies. Inappropriate sexual content including porn is aplenty on the Internet. Parents are fighting a monster that’s difficult to tame.
While encouraging two-way communication and spending quality time with children helps to create an open environment where sex and sexuality can be discussed, I believe that the government must also do its bit to shut the tap of online porn broadcasts. It must without any hesitation and delay impose a blanket ban on pornographic websites beamed into India. We can’t risk losing our children to the billon dollar porn industry.
Early sleep benefits
All through my childhood, my mother and grandmother used to wake me up with the daily chant, “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”. It was only much later in life that I realised it was a quote by Benjamin Franklin, a founding father of the United States.
As a child, it used to annoy me when they kept repeating this quote, but somehow it stuck. Many years later, it is something that I follow religiously. I am almost always in bed by 10 p.m and awake by 5 a.m. I have tried to inculcate the same habit in my children. Good sleep ensures that you wake up refreshed, ready to take on the day.
Which was why I was delighted to read the news byte (PW July) detailing a research study conducted by the University of Colorado-Boulder, which links depression with staying awake late at night. According to the study, night owls are less likely to be married, more likely to live alone, become smokers, and more likely to suffer erratic sleep patterns. I hope all readers, particularly parents, will take serious note of this study. Another reason to go to bed early.
I enjoy reading your Recipes and Fun with Words sections. The essay on binomials (PW July) opened up fascinating facets of the beautiful world of the English language. Please keep up the good work.
My son is enrolled in a school where they are proud of their heavy academics focus and coaching, and this puts a lot of stress on me as a parent as well. It is nice to read a parenting magazine which offers excellent advice as well as helps to de-stress.
Dads need to get involved in child-rearing
Thanks for publishing an excellent parenting magazine. I had to quit my job when my child was born five years ago. Now that he is going to a half-day preschool, I want to start working part-time, but there are no such opportunities in my field of work. It’s frustrating but I’m still glad about the choice I made when I read about the dangers of porn, depression, sexual abuse, etc that threaten children today. It’s not easy to sacrifice your career, and I will get back to work in a few years, but I think giving quality time to young children is very important.
It is sad that in India there is no concept of paternity leave. It’s equally important for fathers to spend time and bond with their children and help in child-rearing. I hope at least the next generation of dads will volunteer to share parenting duties and be ready to sacrifice their careers and/or choose to work from home or accept flexi-time options. Why should women be the ones who always have to sacrifice their careers?
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