A prominent forensic psychologist has questioned how private a teen’s bedroom is when it comes to getting online.
Dr Kevin Lampe has warned that Irish children under the age of 12 have seen extreme child pornography on the dark web.
He said the material being watched had become more extreme, with Europol reporting a sharp global increase in the viewing of pedophile material.
The dark web refers to content on the Internet that is intentionally hidden and requires special software to access it.
Dr. Lampi said Newstalk breakfast Children often use the bedroom as a haven.
“The problem is that kids move into their bedrooms and don’t experience the full impact of positive parenting within the family home, and kids need to find sanctuary away from parental dissonance or addiction and neglect, and then they develop depression and their own psychological symptoms,” he said.
“The problem really starts at home, where kids find a place of refuge in the bedroom, and they go to chat sites where they’re looking for some kind of affirmation – something other than the neglect they experience at home.”
Searching for the dark web
In many cases, Lambie said, kids befriend people on regular chat sites, who are then told how to access the dark web.
“What happens on these chat sites where they befriend older men or older teens, is that they are taken through a tutorial on how to enter the dark web; how to download the various programs, to prevent the IP address from being recognized to enhance their privacy and then the different layers of onions that Through which to search for different types of images.
“Accessing the dark web is something for kids that happens after a long period — several months or even longer — of the relationship being created with the people they talk to online.”
How special should the bedroom be?
Dr. Lampi said that parents should monitor what their children do online.
“I don’t know if conversations about the dark web should take place between parents and children,” he said.
“I really think what parents need to worry about is that they are 100% sure of what’s going on in the privacy of a child’s bedroom – and really how big a child’s bedroom really should be for a child up to 12 years of age or older?”
“Using technology in the bedroom needs parental monitoring, which are the kinds of conversations that need to be had with kids long before any kind of problem, like interest in going to chat sites and more, develops.”
He said trust-related issues should be addressed as soon as possible.
“In my experience, I find that parents who have open conversations with their children from a very early stage — about building a trusting relationship and engaging in the tasks of what we call good parenting — that trust issues as for the phone, as for visiting websites, don’t become a major issue and then comes a phase adolescence “.