Kids online a challenge for parents

NZ Herald 5 June 2014
Kiwi parents believe their children spend too much time online and more are using digital technology as a babysitter, a survey says.

The report from online security company AVG Technologies also found 31 per cent of Kiwi parents said their child threw a tantrum when a device was taken off them.

The survey polled almost 5500 parents and more than 2500 children aged 5-10 years old from nine countries, including New Zealand. Nearly half of Kiwi parents thought their child spent too much time on a digital device – such as a cellphone, tablet or computer – and not enough time outside.

John Cowan, a presenter for Auckland-based group The Parenting Place, said the fact that children were growing up surrounded by technology meant parents had to adapt. That included talking to children about issues such as sex and pornography at an earlier age. The AVG survey found 51 per cent of all parents had had to talk to their children about such topics because they had been exposed to them on the internet.

The report also asked people about their monitoring habits and found that 40 per cent of NZ parents used browser histories to snoop on their partner’s online activity – more than the 30 per cent who monitored their child’s online activities.
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