IT may be fun for young ones to spend hours surfing the Internet on computers, smartphones or tablets, but this distracts them from schoolwork and exposes them to predators.
Actor Datuk Aaron Aziz, actress Rita Rudaini Mokhtar and singer-chef Datuk Fazley Yaakob believe in imposing curfews on their children’s usage of the Internet and monitor the sites they visit.
While their children are free to express themselves on Facebook and Instagram, they can only do so for two to three hours during weekends, since weekdays are strictly for school, tuition and homework.
“Weekdays are sometimes okay for me, provided that my wife and I initiate social media posts and our children join us in family photos,” Aaron said at the launch of Astro Ceria’s family-based reality show Oh My Family! at The Forum restaurant in Kuala Lumpur recently.
The six-episode show, to premiere on April 11, stars Aaron, Rita, Fazley, actor Azad Jazmin, director Aziz M. Osman and their children. It sees them participating in parent-and-child indoor and outdoor challenges.
Aaron, who will appear with his daughter, Dahlia Arissa, 7, said he barred his three children from uploading videos or taking photos of themselves in school uniform, lest stalkers find out where they were studying.
“I do not allow them to show Netizens where we live either, and that means no photos of our gate, garden or neighbourhood.”
He said he made sure they only visited websites which he and wife Datin Diyana Halik approved.
Fazley, whose teammates are his three sons — Ahmad Fariedz Shah, 10, Ahmad Fieradz Shah, 9, and Ahmad Firudz Shah, 7 — said he and his wife, Datin Azrene Ahmad, forbade their children from viewing comments from Netizens on his Facebook page.
“I get positive comments from fans, but, at times, nasty people drop by and I delete their remarks. Those people are a bad influence on youngsters, including my boys.
“They can visit the comments section only when I have tidied it up,” he said, adding that swear words were a no-no.
Single mother Rita said she forbade her sons — Airit Rayyan Rizqin Aidil, 9, and Airit Qaqa Arjuna Aidil, 7 — from taking selfies with girls and uploading them on social media.
“There are many gossip mongers out there, who make up slanderous stories about my family.
“That is why I have to keep an eye on what Rayyan and Arjuna post on Facebook.
“However, I am okay with my actress friends posing with the boys, since they are ‘mak ciks’ (aunties).”
Even then, Rita limits selfies to actors and actresses with whom she is good friends, and whom the boys have met during visits to her drama sets.
Visiting websites on entertainment gossip is also out of bounds for her boys.
“Gossip is a bad influence on children and adults. Local entertainment gossip puts us down, while foreign entertainment gossip can be distractive when my boys reach their teens.”
Rita was formerly married to footballer Mohamad Aidil Zafuan Abdul Radzak.
Aaron, Fazley and Rita recommend good websites for their children, since sharing tips on surfing takes them to beneficial cyber destinations, not harmful ones.
Aaron said: “Social media, if used wisely and subjected to parental guidance, helps kids socialise, express themselves and gain knowledge.”