Increasingly, parents are worried about the impact of children’s use of technology and social media. They worry about their children’s safety on the Internet, violence online, and online predators. Fortunately, some research has found that moderate media use has positive psychological effects.
One important thing to remember is that it’s not always possible to control a child’s digital devices and activities. However, there are ways to limit the negative consequences of their use. Parents can monitor their children’s activity, check their browser history, and even monitor their social media application logs.
Parents can also use mediation to help foster the development of children’s media skills. Research has found that parental mediation is linked to more positive media activities. The study surveyed 896 Dutch parents of young children. It measured their children’s media use using a 5-point scale. Using this scale, parents were able to identify which style of parental mediation best supports their child’s media activities.
Interestingly, the relationship between the age of the child and the type of parental mediation style is not strong. Similarly, the relationship between the amount of time spent on screen media and parental mediation is not clear.
Researchers have found that very young children are more likely to experience the negative effects of media than older kids. But, as parents become more aware of the potential of technology and social media, they are modifying their strategies.
Regardless of whether the parents choose to restrict media use, parents should consider the role that media plays in a child’s life. For instance, it can help to build friendships, provide social support, and boost self-esteem.