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Study Confirms: Parents Clueless

Posted Tuesday, February 5, 2008, at 10:26 AM

Researchers in Tel Aviv have done a study in which they asked parents what they thought their children were doing online, and then checked what the children were, in fact, doing.

You can already see where this is going, can't you?

Just as one would expect (don't you love it when your greatest fears are confirmed scientifically?), a lot more was going on than the parents thought was going on. And the greater the likely parental outrage at the activity, the less likely the parent was to be aware that it was going on. Not only do children tend to be more adept at technological naughtiness (and stupidity and irresponsibility--two other hallowed hallmarks of Youth) than their parents think, they are also very good at covering their tracks.

One of the researchers cautions against freaking out over this. She points out that while parents don't have any idea what their kids are doing online, they also don't have any idea what their kids are up to at parties, the mall, clubs, school, etc. She seems to somehow believe that pointing this out will make parents feel better.

She suggests that kids be given information so that they are prepared to deal with things encountered online. She says that cutting them some slack is a good idea, so they aren't afraid to be honest. She says that talking regularly to the child about these things is important. One presumes that she has no children of her own.

Alternatively, you can just put the least expensive filtering software on your kid's computer and then figure you've done your bit. At least the Internet will be a convenient thing to blame for any anti-social behavior which can't be directly attributed to video games.

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A study that proves that parents need to be, wait for it, parents.


-- Posted by CodeyH on Wed, Feb 6, 2008, at 12:41 PM

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