- We asked 768 U.S. parents if they feel worried about what their kids do online. Half (49.2%) of the surveyed parents said they feel either somewhat or very worried.
- There are real dangers for kids online, but there are ways to stay safe, while still allowing your children to explore the internet.
Most parents worry about their kids all the time. Are they hungry? Are they sick? Will they succeed at school? But a very modern thing to worry about is “what are my kids doing online?”
Along with the worry, there can be guilt that comes with our online-enabled world. Parents often wonder if they are doing enough to protect and stimulate their child’s mental health, while they themselves are working from home, online several hours a day.
We wanted to know how deeply those insecurities ran in American parents so we asked 768 of them how worried they were about what their kids are doing online these days.
Here’s what we found:
Worry Not, Parents! Resources are Available to Help You Keep Kids Safe Online
For those of us who grew up without the internet or a cellphone, it’s a tricky proposition to ask us, as parents now, to manage our child's online world.
If you are in the group of those parents who are worried, consider using the parental controls that exist within most apps and operating systems for some peace of mind. You can generally control data collection and even privacy settings. Some also allow you to set a timer for sessions.
Due to the pandemic, children are online now more than ever. This is when hypervigilance is necessary. Consider having a regular time to join your child online, sitting with them and watching how they navigate, while discussing the importance of safety and what things like phishing mean, as well as showing them the proper conduct when working with their class and teachers.
There are other social interactions to be mindful of – including sexting, gaming and cyberbullying.
Our children may be more tech-savvy than we are in some ways, but as they spend hours online for education and entertainment, parents need to be aware of the dangers and set boundaries for them.