More than 67% of parents surveyed believe that the digital age has made parenting more difficult, and 25% wish the internet was never invented, according to results from a survey released by Life360, a leading safety and coordination service for families worldwide.
To manage family life in this digital age, parents report they take extra precautions when it comes to their children’s online and social lives, with nearly one-fifth (19%) of those with children older than 13 admitting they check their children’s social media accounts 4-6 times per day. The nationwide survey of 2,000 American parents of children ages 6-25, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Life360, focused on current parenting trends and concerns held by today’s parents. Some results:
- Families on average exchange more than 10,000 messages per year, and 34% of parents reported that their family exchanges upwards of 30 text and social media messages per day.
- Of parents surveyed with children older than 13, more than half (56%) require that their children allow them access to their social media accounts for monitoring purposes, which they check 3.4 times per day, on average.
- Parents would rather their children use the internet without supervision (at an average age of 12) than go out with friends unsupervised (13).
- The majority of parents (64%) feel compelled to buy the latest and most expensive tech gadgets and gear for their kids because of pressure from their peers, their kids, and themselves.
The Impact of Gender and Age on Parenting
- Parents report checking in daily with their sons via text or phone call (7 times) more than with their daughters (6 times).
- They also check their sons’ social media accounts more, reporting an average of 3.81 times per day, compared to 2.86 times per day for their daughters’ accounts.
- When considering their children who currently are, or were, in elementary school, parents are more concerned that their sons will make bad decisions due to peer pressure (44%) than their daughters (36%).
- Two of the top three concerns for parents of elementary aged children are specific to the digital age: 47% worry that their kids are spending too much time in front of screens, and 41% are concerned that they are being negatively influenced by the media.
- Parents believe their sons spend too much time in front of screens (53%), compared to their daughters (42%).
- Parents are more concerned that their children will be negatively influenced by the media (41%) than that they won’t make friends (26%).
- Nearly one-third (30%) of all parents who have, or have had, a K-12 student are concerned their children will post or send content online that might negatively affect their reputation.
- For parents considering children who are, or were, middle school students, 35% worry that their sons will post or send content online that will negatively affect their reputation, compared to 27% when it comes to their daughters.
To view the full survey, visit https://www.life360.com/blog/.
To explore these findings with parents and promote positive conversations within families about navigating the ups and downs of parenting in the age of technology, Life360 is kicking off a collaboration with National PTA, which has been working to address digital safety issues that are top of mind for families and connect parents with relevant tools, research and support.
The accompanying image is courtesy of involuntaryfury.com .