From the Oxford Internet Institute and Parent Zone comes a new study that challenges the way many people have been monitoring their teen’s Internet use. Turns out, letting them figure it out on their own – the good and the bad – might actually be more beneficial for their development.
Researchers surveyed more than 2,000 children aged 14 to 17 across the UK.
Their report came to three main conclusions:
- Children who have positive offline relationships with their parents are more likely to navigate the web in a sensible way
- Supportive and enabling parenting has a more positive impact than restricting or monitoring internet use
- Teenagers left to self-regulate their internet and social media use are more likely to teach themselves new skills online and maintain positive online relationships
Of course, this doesn’t take the place of good parenting. Communication is key, and there should be some family agreements in place regarding time spent online (and bedtime in particular), but this might help alleviate some tension and conflict around the house.
And without all of those arguments going on, there might be more time for some actual conversations.
For more parenting tips on screen time, check out Common Sense Media’s new Parent Concerns page.