Ulrika Jonsson confessed she feels guilty letting her children be babysat by electronic devices as she launched a Christmas e-safety campaign today (02.12.15).
The TV presenter - who has kids Cameron, 21, Bo, 15, Martha, 11, and Malcolm, seven - knows how easy it is for parents to give a child a tablet or a computer to entertain them for a while, but says everyone needs to be aware of the dangers of children having easy access to the internet.
Ulrika - who has teamed up with Internet Matters for a new campaign to keep kids safe online this Christmas - said: "If we don't do our bit in protecting them then they're going to be very exposed. And I feel I'm a bit of a technophobe so I always tend to leave it to my husband but I think we need to take control of this because, as mums, we're probably most likely to be at home with the kids much more of the time. It's very nice and easy to have the electronic babysitter go off and do that thing, I'm guilty of that too."
And Ulrika, 48, admits having children of different ages can prove difficult because they all use the internet for different purposes.
She said: 'I think they think they're savvy but I know they're not. So my youngest is seven, then an 11-year-old, a 15-year-old and a 21-year-old. The 21-year-old, it's a bit late for me to guide him, although there still are moments where you have to let them know about things like scams and that. But for the younger ones, my youngest one will never know a world without the Internet, so there isn't anything wonderful about the internet, it's just kind of there. And it's also a source of great danger. So walking that line as a parent and even having that conversation can be really tricky for some parents."
Because she shares parental responsibility of her children with her husband Brian Monet - father to Malcolm - and the other kids' dads, Ulrika says it's important that they all share the same rules when it comes to the internet.
Ulrika was speaking out as part of the Internet Matters Set Up Safe campaign, urging parents to unbox their children's tech Christmas presents and set them up safe before wrapping them up. The e-safety group has also launched an educational app, CyberSense - the first of its kind that parents and kids can play together to learn about child safety online.
Ulrika added to ITV's 'Lorraine': "In my situation, I co-parent with somebody and outside the home as well and we're on the same page, which is great. I think on subjects like this, you really need to be because you can't take any risks, you can't allow them to do whatever they want at mum's house or dad's house. It's got to be the same."
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