Study: Biggest modern parenting challenge is monitoring child's online activity

Posted at 10:02 AM, Dec 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-11 12:06:05-05

A University of Michigan study found that most parents would agree monitoring what their child is doing online is one of the biggest modern parenting challenges.

Research revealed that parents spend more time talking with their children about how to use mobile devices than they do about what kids watch and download on these devices.

When families did have conversations about content, it was the child that initiated the discussion, not the parent. Older siblings played a big role in content mediation than parents, according to the study.

Other findings included:

  • Negotiations and conflict are common among parents and children.

  • Parallel family media use is common, meaning different family members use their own devices at the same time

"One of the most challenging aspects of parenting today is being aware of what children are exposed to online, particularly content delivered via mobile devices," said researcher Sarah Domoff. "Thus, it is critical that parents utilize privacy settings and restrictions to protect children from certain content. Ideally, this would occur before the child received their own mobile device."

Tips include recruiting older siblings to monitor or spark up the conversation, drafting up a family media plan and/or identify apps their child may use.

See the full study here.