Online ParentingOnline Parenting (Older archives available here)

The C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health asked a national sample of parents to rate their level of concern about a variety of health topics. Parents rated each topic as a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem for children and teens in the United States. The leading concerns rated by parents as a big problem for children and teens are presented below. (Top 5 shown below):

  1. Overuse of devices/screen time (67%)
  2. Social media (66%)
  3. Internet safety (62%)
  4. Depression/suicide (57%)
  5. Bullying (53%)

  • According to a recent consumer survey* commissioned by Smith Micro Software, 75% of parents have indicated that keeping track of their children’s social interactions is a major source of anxiety during the COVID-19 crisis. And while nearly 90% of parents have restricted their children’s in-person socialization to help ease their anxiety, the shift to more online activity is presenting a growing concern. In fact, more than 70% of parents feel helpless when it comes to limiting their child’s screen time, particularly due to online schooling and limited entertainment and socialization options. (September 22, 2020).

    The study also found that while more than half (59%) of parents indicated that they are more grateful for the technology than ever before to help keep kids connected, more than 60% feel that they need to monitor their child’s internet use more closely but are overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.
  • 79% of parents use controls currently or in the past; 2/3 of parents are generally unsatisfied with the tools they have to keep kids safe online.

    Although house rules are common, 65% of parents have used a type of digital tool in the form of in-app solutions, parental controls, safety features, privacy settings or digital usage restrictions. 

    Parents tent to be most concerned about sexual content - even over social media (63% of parents of kids aged 7-22 think tools to block adult/mature content from kids is critical

    57% of Baby Boomer parents believe that "most responsibility lies with parents in contrast with 43% of Generation X parents, 30% of Millennial parents. 
    Tools for Today's Digital Parents: The role of parental controls in the digital lives of American parents and children, Family Online Safety Institute, November 2020
  • According to a 2019 study by Pew Research Center, 52% of parents use parental controls to restrict access to certain sites. (How Parents Feel About --and Manage--their Teens Online Behavior and Screen Time, Pew Research Center, 2019).
  • 71% of teens have admitted to hiding what they do online from their parents (this includes clearing browser history, minimizing a browser when in view, deleting inappropriate videos, lying about behavior, using a phone instead of a computer. Jamie Le, “The Digital Divide: How the Online Behavior of Teens is Getting Past Parents,” June 2012. http://www. accessed Dec. 29, 2015).