Forum: Children must be guided in their early years

Like Forum writer Chin Hui Wen (Kids should be taught kindness and inclusion, July 1), I believe that values such as kindness, compassion, respect and inclusion are important ones that we need to build in our children.

We should teach children to respect everyone, but that does not always mean approving their negative actions and ideas. This is part of learning how to draw healthy boundaries.

Parents play an important role in protecting young children from harm, because they are not yet able to assess risk and discern danger. This includes unhealthy acts as well as unwholesome content.

Responsible parents should also shield their young children from non-age-appropriate and confusing content that is not in line with their family values.

Hence, I urge fellow parents to better understand child development, especially the importance of building healthy character and habits early and consistently throughout their growing years, so that, in time, they can discern what is unhealthy for themselves and society.

I am also mindful that not all children have the home environment they need for healthy development. There are young children who do not have the consistent care and love of responsible adults around them to give them opportunities to learn strong values.

We as a society have the duty to ensure that all children have access to a wholesome environment - online and offline - for them to learn and grow. There should, therefore, be more consideration by the authorities to regulate the online content consumed by our children.

It is important for our children to have the time and space in their early years to understand various issues under the guidance of their parents, without undue influence from others or from the media they consume.

Peh Peng Khien

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