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BizReport : Trends & Ideas archives : January 14, 2016

Pew reveals what parents of teens do to keep them safe online

Social media has proved to be yet another teen obsession that parents feel they need to monitor - and monitor it they do, according to new research from Pew.

by Helen Leggatt

Few would disagree that parents need to keep an eye on what their teens are up to on social media. Yet, according to Pew, only 60% of parents with children between the age of 13 - 17 do so. While teens might not be so thrilled to have their digital domains sleuthed by the oldies, it makes good parenting sense to do so to ensure they are kept safe.

As well as monitoring use, 56% have friended their child on Facebook, or Followed them on Twitter, and are no doubt lurking on whichever other social platform they know their child is using. The key word being 'know'. Sixty-one percent check which websites their teen visits and nearly half (48%) browse their child's call records and text messages.

The report, "Parents, Teens and Digital Monitoring," notes that "widespread adoption of various digital technologies has added a modern wrinkle to a universal challenge of parenthood -- specifically, striking a balance between allowing independent exploration and providing an appropriate level of parental oversight."

But have some parents gone too far? Nearly half (48%) say they know the password of their teens email account, 43% have their phone password and 35% know the password to at least one social media account. How they know these passwords is anyone's guess, although I know some of my friends who are parents of teens make giving over passwords a condition of being allowed to use social media and mobile devices.

Of course, with responsibility comes consequences and denying access to mobile and social is popular. Being sent to your room is no longer a punishment when the Internet and mobile phone is there to keep you occupied. Therefore, today's punishment of choice is increasingly "digital grounding" and it is done by 65% of parents as punishment for any number of things.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: mobile, parenting, social media, teenagers

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