On January 5, 2016

Survey reveals a technological holiday conflict

Parents and children come to blows over Internet use on holiday

A study of 2,000 parents across the country has found that a majority are concerned by their children’s Internet use during holiday times (school breaks and summer vacation). The survey also reveals the solutions parents are opting to cope with the stress of their children using the Internet during those times.

The study, released earlier this year by Stop Procrastinating, the productivity website, has found that parents are also concerned by their inability to block their children’s access to the Internet.

Survey highlights include:

  • 68 percent worried their children use the Internet for too long during holidays.
  • 52 percent said their children were less active because they used social media instead of playing with friends.
  • 48 percent worried their children didn’t seek out sociable activities.
  • 62 percent said their children’s use of smart devices would cause conflict and stress during their family holiday.
  • 56 percent said that their children read less than the parents did when they were children. They blamed the Internet.
  • 54 percent thought smart devices were affecting their children’s development and health.
  • 46 percent blamed themselves for using smart devices in front of their children.
  • 43 percent felt they should encourage more family conversation to balance the affect of the Internet.
  • 65 percent said it was too easy to keep their children quiet by distracting them with the Internet when they were busy.
  • 78 percent thought, however, that their children should access the Internet but that it should be controlled or supervised.
  • 49 percent said that their children were more likely to be successful if they were proficient at computers and coding.

Parents looked for solutions to balance their children’s use of the Internet rather than ban it completely:

  • 72 percent said their children should only use the Internet for one hour a day.
  • 52 percent said they should talk more during family meals and smart devices should be banned.
  • 56 percent said they would encourage their children to join a sociable activity or club during holiday breaks especially long ones like summer vacations, which need to be planned for months in advance.
  • 32 percent were thinking about leaving all smart devices at home during their holidays.

Tim Rollins, research director at Stop Procrastinating, said: “Without school to keep them indoors, they should be taking part in sociable and meaningful activities, but instead the Internet is keeping them indoors.

“Parents may be seeking to avoid conflict by giving in to their children’s demands to use the Internet, but the study also shows that when boundaries are set and other sociable activities are encouraged their children’s use of the Internet becomes healthy and balanced.”

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