David Cameron's new adviser on childhood has said that parents should snoop and pry on their children's internet activity and texts in order to keep them safe.
Claire Perry, Conservative MP for Devizes, said that in a world where youngsters are surrounded by online dangers, parents should challenge the 'bizarre' idea that their children have the right to keep their messages private, reports the Mail.
Ms Perry, a 48-year-old mother of three, said that society as a whole had become 'complicit' in allowing a culture where young people can have inappropriate contact with strangers at all hours of the day and night, the paper claims.
She said that mums and dads should feel more empowered to challenge their youngsters over phone and internet usage, and read their personal messages
She added that sexting was prevalent in 'pretty much every school in the country'.
"So many people say 'I have got children on their laptop at 2am – what do I do?' Well, turn the router off when you go to bed," she said.
In her role as adviser on the sexualisation and commercialisation of childhood, Ms Perry suggests proposals for a better, well-advertised system for parents and children to report inappropriate behaviour online, a crackdown on raunchy music videos and children's access to 'lads' mags' and an overhaul of the school curriculum with internet safety being taught in IT lessons.
"We've given our children all these opportunities to communicate in private, but we've lost the confidence to actually get involved in that," she said. "We have to feel more empowered to ask. Make sure your kids allow you to be friends with them on Facebook, ask them whether what they are doing is appropriate."
She added that parents have to be more open about discussing such things with their children.
"We have got to be much franker, much more open and upfront about it," she said. "I don't want it to sound like harking back to Victorian values, but parents should sit down with their kids and say 'are you aware of what's out there?'"
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