Considering that video games are rife amongst younger kids, it seems like parents in the UK aren’t doing enough to monitor the content that our children are viewing.
According to a recent survey by Distinctive Chesterfields, less than half of British parents actively monitor their children’s video gaming activity, and just over a third asses their taste in music – despite the fact that majority is now classed as sexually explicit.
When it comes to TV programmes, less than a third of parents asked admitted to keeping tabs on the programmes – and channels – that their kids watch regularly.
Shockingly, the survey also revealed that parents these days are happy to hand their child their first mobile phone at the tender age of 11, even though a quarter of children of primary school-age have been previously caught sending sexually explicit messages.
Tom Madders, Director of Campaigns and Communications at children’s charity YoungMinds, said: “Social media is part of everyday life for most young people – from organising plans with friends to reading the news or scrolling through Twitter or Instagram.
“Parents can adjust the safety settings on their Internet browsers and devices, but it is impossible to monitor or control everything your child sees online.
“This is why it is so important for parents to talk to their children about what they may be seeing online and encourage them to open up if something is troubling them.”
According to the research, 59% of parents would let their child watch an age-restricted age even when their child is younger than the restriction.
When it comes to 18-rated movies, 14% of parents said that they’d allow their child to watch one at the younger age of 15.
Steve Laidlaw from Distinctivechesterfields.com said, “Obviously, children mature at different rates but parents are right to question whether television, films and social media have any influence over the speed at which it happens.
“Every parent faces decisions about letting their children have their ears pierced or staying up longer but compared to when they were young themselves, it’s quite incredible to see the extra decisions they’ll need to make based on technology, to ensure their children are safe using tablets and smart phones.”