You, Your Child and the Media: 10 Principles to Consider

Thank you for joining me again this morning to continue this very important discussion, we began a while ago. I hope you are finding it helpful and interesting as primary and secondary caregivers, who are committed to protect our children, spirit, soul and body. I continue today with the 4th point you must take time to consider in this serious matter.

4. View according to family values: a person or family without clearly stated values, which guide their existence, is like a city built in the midst of the enemies yet without walls.   I think our exposure to the media as a family must be in accordance with our values. These are values we must present to our children by modelling. The truth of the matter is that there is no point smelling what one does not plan to eat. It does not only create confusion, it also authors unnecessary temptation. As Mr. Olakunle Soriyan always says, ‘the unnecessary gives birth to the unnecessary.’ All contents in the media is designed to communicate certain values, which are dear to the providers. We should only expose our families to the contents if they are in agreement with our values.

5. Do not buy: Permit me to echo the instructive words of Hillary Clinton: ‘There is an opportunity for more parents to act as consumers. Let people know you’re not going to buy products that support shows and things you do not believe in. Don’t buy those violent video games no matter how much your child begs.’ This is ensuring that our children to not have access to the media materials, which are capable of setting them up for destruction. It has been found for example that a child can become a sharp and accurate shooter, if he masters same through video game. Children in most cases are aware of what their peers are watching. Therefore they beg their parents to buy same for them. It is important that we do not buy in their best interest. We must only refuse to buy, we must also be watchful of the company our children keep and make concrete efforts to truncate any relationship, which provides such materials and the platforms for us children to be exposed to such materials.

6. Still Sign-up For Screening:  The US-based The Entertainment Software Rating Board ‘is a non-profit, self-regulatory body that assigns ratings for video games and apps so parents can make informed choices…both age-based categories and, equally if not more importantly, concise and impartial information regarding content.’ It is important for us as custodians to understand that video games and apps have rating and it is the responsibility of parents to ensure that the provided rating guides what their children watch. The National Film and Video Censors Board published on its website the rating for films and videos. Before I share the rating, permit me to share the purpose of the National Film and Video Censors Board as revealed by the number 1 question on the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): why do we need a film censorship board? The answer read in part, ‘like all countries, Nigeria seeks to protect its young from unsuitable content and as a multi-ethnic developing society; the country also needs to preserve ethnic racial and religious harmony. It must take into account the sensitivities of all the different groups, cultures who make up the population. With the impact and influence of both Nigerian movies and the influx of foreign cultural imports, censorship will continue to play an important role in fostering a morally wholesome and socially cohesive society and safeguard core community values such as the importance of family, respect for one’s elders and moral integrity.’ I think the foregoing speaks for itself.

Tomorrow, by God’s grace, I will share with you the rating, which must become the template for your screening as primary and secondary caregivers. You cannot afford to miss it for anything.

I charge you as we depart today that you Think the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE…

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