Thursday, January 06, 2005

Survey Says . . . Parents Monitor Children's Internet Activities

From an article on The Conference Board: " . . . more than 95% of America's parents say they monitor their children's Internet activities." This is from their quarterly survey called the Consumer Internet Barometer. Does that number seem right to you? Although I can say that most kids' computers in homes I know are in a public area, I can't say that even half of those parents I know actually monitor their activities. Maybe I'm being cynical . . .

3 comments:

Dale Ricklefs said...

Hi Chris-- There may be a selection effect. At Round Rock Public, 30% of the parents do not give permission for their kids to use the unfiltered internet stations. We have a number of parents of younger children who DO sit with their children, though I'm not sure of the %. And, while 95% may be active at home, 5% may not be. Is that 5% visiting us? Are they the one without home computers to begin with? 5% of our population would be 400 individuals, and we have served more than 400 individuals through the year, children and adults. Maybe the behavior is different between people with access at home and people using access elsewhere?

But, maybe some of the adults assume that, as we are a library, we are protecting their children, so why bother monitoring the children?

In terms of home use, I know of families that may not directly monitor their children's use, but I have heard them have discussions with the youth on the use. And, what does monitor mean? Length of time on the machines, time of day, homework done, sites visited?

Christine Peterson said...

There are a couple of questions that would be nice to have answered about this study. What does the word "monitor" mean? Was the definition left up to the parents, or was it given or implied by the question. Also -- and I hate to say this -- did some of the parents lie because they knew what the "right" answer was?

Unfortunately, the study itself costs $200, so I don't think we'll get these answers soon.

Stacey Nash said...

I think you are absolutely correct, the parents did answer that way because they are afraid to say anything else. We parents have been warned and warned again of the dangers of allowing kids to play on the internet without supervision. But honestly... no it's not possible especially if they are teenagers. They are home alone more and stay up later than parents. Yes, yes wouldn't it be great if we could be with them in the halls at school to make sure of who they are hanging out with, that they aren't saying any of those bad words (that you know they are), be with them while they are out riding their bikes with their friends for the same reasons. But we can't be. The best you can do it hope you have taught them well and their value system is strong. Pay attention. It's all we can do. Set aside the fact of the growing up, implications of trust, own time and space issues the fights between the teenager and the parent who is standing over the top of him/her while they are talking to their friends through IMing, would he horrific. Pick your battles and pick them wisely. To answer your question.... 95% of parents….Liar, liar pants on fire!!!