A new study from of 3000 parents by Stop Procrastinating, the website blocker, has uncovered a new concern. Kids are now getting good at hiding from their parents when they use the Internet. When we think they are safe and sound tucked up in bed, they are in fact browsing the Internet and chatting with friends.
The study found that a majority of parents discovered that their children were using social media and browsing the web when they should be sleeping and as a consequence it lowered their chances of doing well in school.
The lack of sleep caused a direct drop in their performance in the classroom. Children were more irritable, less able to concentrate and more tired in the classroom.
Teachers also observed that the children were doing less well and were concerned that their grades would suffer as a result.
How should parents deal with this? Imagine then trying to talk to your children about their Internet use when they are already tried and irritable. Fireworks are sure to follow.
Fortunately, the study also asked parents to reveal the techniques and strategies they use to reduce the negative impacts of social media and the Internet on their children.
The most effective strategies combined building up a trusting relationship with their children, so that they were able to have open conversations about the Internet without stress and confrontation, and boundary-setting by parents. For instance, stopping children using digital devices an hour before they go to bed. Some parents also tried to make cutting down on internet use an enjoyable and fun challenge that their children could share and compete with their friends by creating a digital detox challenge week.
The survey also found that parents are more successful at cutting their children’s Internet use if they work with other parents and the school. If all a group of friends are all treated in the same way they will feel less pressure to break the rules and get online when they shouldn’t.
You can view the survey results about parents attempts to control their children’s use of the Internet in the infographic below: