Presenter Dan Walker’s children must sign a contract before they are allowed to have their own mobile phone, he has revealed.
The former BBC Breakfast host said his three children, Susanna, 15, Jessica, 13, and Joe, 11, are not allowed to keep their phones in their bedrooms at night and have limited use of networks social. multimedia applications.
Walker, 45, and his wife Sarah sit with each child when they received their phone to highlight ‘the things we expect from [them] in terms of what [they] do with and how [they] use it”.
He described his and Sarah’s parenting style as “strict” when it comes to phones.
Talk to The temperatureWalker said the contract allows both parents to regularly check the websites and social media sites their children interact with.
“I regularly check children’s phones. Personally, my wife and I try to be really open with our kids,” he said.
The children were given their own phones when they grew old enough to walk home from school on their own, with eldest Susanna only getting her phone when she was 12.
They also aren’t allowed on certain apps that have age restrictions, like Instagram, Walker said.
“They were behind a lot of their friends to get apps like Instagram, but that’s what we decided to do,” he added.
If the children break the contract, their phone is taken away from them “for a period” of time.
Walkers’ rules stem from “serious concerns” about the impact of social media on young people.
Recently, an inquest into the death of 14-year-old schoolgirl Molly Russell found that the “negative effects of online content” contributed to her death.
The inquest heard how she accessed material that was ultimately detrimental to her mental health and caused her to end her life in November 2017.
Walker said the current generation of children have no respite from bullying thanks to the constant online nature of social media.
“Issues like bullying don’t stop at the school gates,” he said. “It can be a continuous build-up of pressure, 24 hours a day. There can be no release or respite.
He has raised the issue of youth suicide in his new book, Standing on Shoulders: Incredible Heroes and How They Inspire Usand spoke to three fathers who lost their daughters to suicide.
Mike Palmer, Andy Airey and Tim Owen, known as 3 Dads Walking, are traveling across the UK to raise money for a suicide prevention charity following the deaths of their daughters.
Walker said the group makes a “powerful argument” for suicide prevention lessons in schools, adding, “We need to be more open in what we discuss with our children.”