Don’t Forget to Check Your Children’s Digital Devices
Years ago, there were heated debates as to whether or not it is appropriate for a parent to read their child’s diary. Feelings on this topic may be divided between respecting a child’s privacy and being concerned for their wellbeing and safety. This debate is still relevant today. However, now it is more often related to whether a parent will check their children’s digital devices, such as smartphones and social media accounts.
Technology is so embedded in our society. So much so that you’d be hard-pressed to raise a child today without it becoming a major topic of discussion. At Child Safety Store, we aren’t here to tell you whether or not you should check your child’s digital devices. However, a recent study may help to shed some light on the general outlook of parents on this topic.
When Do Most Children Gain Access to Technology?
According to a May 2019 report by RS Components, a global electronic components company, many parents believe that access to gaming consoles, tablets and shared computers is appropriate beginning at six to eight years old.
Today, kids aged 11 and 12 are often allowed access to smartphones and their own private computers. Finally, by ages 13 and 14, many kids have access to virtual reality devices, voice assistants and smartwatches. As we've mentioned before, it's important for parents to limit screen time when possible.
For parents, permission is given in order for them to have a way to contact their children and know what they are up while they are apart.
Kids May Spend More Time Online Than Parents Realize
The saying goes that if you give an inch, someone may take a mile. That is certainly the case sometimes with adolescents who have newly found independence. Research from this survey found that parents estimate that their children spend an average of one hour and 18 minutes on their smartphones daily. However, a separate study from Common Sense Media showed that teens spend a whopping nine hours a day using various forms of media devices every day. Tweens, ages eight to 12, spend nearly six hours per day.
Most Parents Don’t Check Their Children’s Digital Devices
While some parents have concerns about digital devices, many – 46 percent, to be exact – think that technology can have a positive impact on their children. Perhaps this is why parents typically don’t check up on their kids’ digital media use. In fact, only 14 percent admitted to checking their child’s online presence without the child’s knowledge on a regular basis, while 32 percent admit to having done so at one point or another. Sixty-one percent of parents have never accessed their child's devices or social media accounts at all.
Compounded with the idea that most parents don’t check their children’s accounts, a quarter of teens who use the internet indicated in the Common Sense Media report that their parents don’t know about their online activities.