Memo to Mom and Dad: Rein in your screen time. That’s one of the things that kids say they’d like to tell their parents, according to a survey on families’ technology rules and expectations.
To better understand the tug of war between parents and children over their electronic gadgets, researchers from the University of Michigan and the University of Washington asked 249 families with 10- to 17-year-old kids about their household rules.
Of special interest were the kids’ expectations for their parents’ technology use.
Like parents, many children felt there should be no technology at all in certain situations, such as mealtime and when they’re trying to have a conversation with Mom or Dad.
Kids said they also want their parents to practice what they preach. For instance, no texting while driving, even when sitting at a red light.
That also means not oversharing. Kids in the survey said that parents shouldn’t feel free to post what they view as acceptable information about their children without their kids’ OK.
“Twice as many children as parents expressed concerns about family members oversharing personal information about them on Facebook and other social media without permission,” researcher Sarita Schoenebeck said in a news release from the University of Michigan.
“Many children said they found that content embarrassing and felt frustrated when their parents continued to do it,” Schoenebeck said. She’s an assistant professor in the University of Michigan’s School of Information.
Overall, the kids said they wished their parents would cut back on their tech time, becoming more moderate in use and more in balance with other activities.
Parents in the survey tended to not be concerned about different rules for parents and children. The kids, however, saw that as hypocritical. They also said it was easier to follow the rules when they applied to parents and kids alike.
The kids also indicated that family rules on technology work better when they’re developed with input from both parents and children.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has information for parents on talking to your kids about social media.
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