My mom and I were recently discussing modern parenting. I mean, things have changed a lot since I was a kid. I’m navigating the challenges of parenting preteen and teenage kids with access to a variety of technology that I didn’t have at the same age.
These days I have 10-year-old child with a tablet that she wants to use instead of sleeping and a 15-year-old child who gets distracted from homework because his friends are getting online to play their favorite video game. Meanwhile, my 13-year-old child is feeling some peer pressure to join social networks, but would prefer not to succumb to them yet.
Parenting today means we must have diligence managing digital devices for children. There are conversations about safe Internet use, limits on online gaming, restrictions on when devices can be used, discussions about social media etiquette, and exhortations to put down the headphones to have a conversation as a family.
Whew! It’s a lot for parents to cover with kids, but it’s vitally important.
A recent survey by Stop Procrastinating, the productivity website, looked at Internet and social media use by children. It’s a helpful look at the challenges of parenting in the digital age, with some solutions for overseeing kids’ use of technology.
Helpful insights from Stop Procrastinating for managing digital devices for children
Thank you to Stop Procrastinating for permission to present their survey findings below.
The study of 3000 parents found that a majority of parents discovered that their children were using social media and browsing the web at night instead of sleeping. The survey found that children were less able to concentrate and performed less well in the classroom as a result. Parents said that teachers noticed a gradual drop in performance in the classroom as well. The survey also found that children who do their homework while ‘multitasking’ by also checking social media and instant messengers were less likely to remember what they studied.
The study also asked parents for the best successful strategies for weening their children off from overuse of the Internet. Parents suggested a combination of building up a trusting relationship with their children, so that they were able to have open conversations about the Internet without stress and confrontation, and boundary-setting by parents were most effective. Some parents also tried to make cutting down on Internet use an enjoyable and fun challenge that their children could share and compete with their friends by creating a digital detox challenge week.
The survey also found that parents are more successful at cutting their children’s Internet use if they work with other parents and the school. If all of a group are treated the same way they will feel less pressure to break the rules and get online when they shouldn’t.
The survey has been designed into an accessible infographic which details all the findings and help for parents who want to control and reduce their children’s internet use.
How are you managing use of the Internet, social media, and digital devices with your kids?