Ofcom yesterday released the results of a study which found that 54% of parents with children between the ages of 5 and 15 supervise what their kids are doing online. This is a jump from 48% in 2010. Bravo, UK parents!
However, the ways in which parents supervise their children can vary a great deal. There is a huge difference between blocking pornography sites on the family computer, and installing spyware recording your child’s every keystroke. While it is great that more parents are getting involved with what their children are doing online, it’s also important to remember that the methods parents use to supervise are critical. Kids need to know they can talk to their parents, even when they make mistakes. Parents need to understand how and why their children use new media, and both sides of the equation need to agree on sets of boundaries for things like privacy and screen time.
That is why our LAMPlit library includes free resource guides about how to be responsible about using the Internet and new media. Our newest LAMPlit, Guide to Healthy Digital Relationships, is down-to-earth interactive resource for teens about how to be responsible online, and tips for how to talk to their parents about their online lives. Our very first LAMPlit, The Beginner’s Guide to Going Online is primarily geared toward parents who want to learn more about the media their kids use, and how to steward their family through a sea of technology and information. Whether you’re a parent taking the first steps in supervising what your kids do online, or you’re a veteran Facebooker, you need to make proactive decisions about how you interact with media. All LAMPlit guides are free, and we love to get feedback on how they can be improved or what else you’d like us to cover. Check it out, and let us know what you think!