Kids Want Parents to Follow Technology Use Rules, Too

(Photo: Jonathan Velasquez, Creative Commons)

(Photo: Jonathan Velasquez, Creative Commons)

A recent survey of parents and children concerning their rules and expectations for using technology reveals that kids do not like when their parents share personal information about them on Facebook, reports Tia Ghose for CBS News.

Young people would also like for their parents to put their smartphones down and just look at them sometimes. They also wish their parents would trust them to use technology safely and more independently.

The survey also found that kids and their mothers and fathers are all striving to balance the use and overuse of technology.

“Managing kids’ technology use was once much easier for parents. They switched off the television when a show was over or kept an eye on kids as they used the family computer in the living room,” lead author Alexis Hiniker, a doctoral candidate in human centered design and engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle, said in a statement. “But now that so many family members have phones with them at all times, it’s become harder and harder to set those boundaries.”

Hiniker and her team, all researchers from the University of Michigan and the University of Washington, asked 249 child-parent pairs, with kids aged 10 to 17, to answer questions about rules, needs, and desires connected to technology use.

Parents who check their email while they are supposed to be helping their children with school work may be surprised to hear that children wish their parents would turn off their devices and be “more present” at certain times. Children were also sharing that they wanted their parents to use technology moderately. The examples they used were texting or calling while driving or using technology when they were waiting at the stoplight.

Kids made it clear that if they were expected to turn off devices at the dinner table, it was hypocritical for parents to work on that last email response for work.

The paper was presented March 2 at the Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing Conference in San Francisco.

Some children said they would like to make their individual decisions about their technology use, but others said they wanted adults to set rules and parental supervision. Some young people said they wanted both of these things.

The researchers said that it was simpler to set hard and fast rules than to handle rules that were more nebulous. The survey did find that 92% of kids want their parents to show more connection when they are talking to one another, says IANS.

Pew Internet Research found in a study that almost three-quarters of teenagers have their own smartphone or have access to one. A study conducted by Sprint found that 32% of parents set rules for their children’s device use, reports Chelsey B. Coombs for Techlicious.

One of the young respondents on the Hiniker survey said he wanted his parents to check out websites before he uses them because there are so many bad people out there.

The scientists concluded that their survey results showed that US families are faced with common challenges surrounding technological use. It seems to the researchers that it is time for everyone to take a careful look at how they relate to technology.

03 16, 2016
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