When Should Parents Stop Monitoring Their Kids Online? This Survey Reveals the Answers

The internet is a vast compendium of information that has greatly benefited society because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up allowing you to answer your questions instantly and conveniently. In spite of the fact that this is the case, it is also a rather dangerous thing for kids since there is no way to tell what area of the internet your child might stumble across.

Parents usually need to keep an eye on their child’s online activities, but with all of that having been said and now out of the way it is important to note that this oversight can’t last forever. Eventually your child would grow up, and when this happens they’d want to avail their right to privacy. A survey from PC Mag has just revealed what parents think about giving their kids internet enabled devices as well as the right age to start letting them use the internet without any monitoring.

It turns out that over 17% of parents give their kids their first mobile device at the age of ten, with 10% doing so when their kid turns 8 and 13% waiting until their child reaches twelve years of age. Around 42% of parents are concerned that online predators might try to go after their children, and 39% are concerned that their child might get exposed to harmful content that could hamper their mental growth with all things having been considered and taken into account.

33% of parents who participated in this survey also said that the addictive nature of the internet was a cause for concern. Children respond intuitively to the dopamine triggers that so many social media sites use to keep users engaged, and they don’t have the life experience to recognize when they should take a break. Hence, parents would obviously want to keep an eye on their kids so that they can prevent them from using the internet more than is absolutely necessary. Decreased physical activity, cyber bullying and lower than required physical socialization are also prime concerns, with 28%, 26%, 25% and 22% respectively.

As for when they feel like they should stop monitoring their kids online, around 31% of parents said that 18 was the right age which is the highest proportion by far. The second highest age that parents voted for was 16, with 17% of parents saying that they felt like that was the perfect age to give their kids more independence. Surprisingly, around 4% of parents felt like they should never monitor their children perhaps because they are unaware of the threats posed to minors by unrestricted internet access.

The over 1,000 parents who were involved in this survey clearly have diverging views about how to protect their kids, but one thing that remains consistent is their desire to do whatever they can. The internet can be both a wonderful as well as a horrible place, and you need a considerable amount of maturity to navigate it. Just like kids need to be protected in the real world, they need to be looked after in the digital and virtual spaces they are using as well.
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