Search icon


29th Sep 2021

80% of parents believe technology has made parenting more difficult

Laura Grainger

Most participating parents said their kids had received their first internet-connected device by the age of seven.

A recent survey has shown a large amount of parents believe technology has made parenting harder as it causes kids to grow up faster.

The survey, conducted in the US by OnePoll on behalf of Smith Micro Software, found that 80% of participating parents agree it’s harder to raise children in the digital age than when they were growing up.

2,000 parents of school-aged children were polled in order to see if those raising children believe technology is impacting their parenting.

Of them, 86% also agreed that kids “grow up” much faster today as a result of the role technology plays in our everyday lives.

Many participating parents said their kids had received their first internet-connected device by seven years old.

23% admitted to giving their child access to the internet between the ages of three and five.

The survey also found that kids spend an average of 43% of free time on some sort of internet-connected device, which may have been increased by the pandemic.

Four in five parents polled said they granted their kids more recreational screen time as a result of pandemic restrictions, while four in ten said their child accumulates five plus hours of recreational screen time every day.

When it comes to the dangers facing children on the internet, 88% of parents polled agreed it’s their responsibility to monitor their child’s online activity. However, 54% said they feel to monitor, track or control their child’s digital activity was a violation of trust.

86% of parents also said they regularly chat to their kids about internet safety, with 55% worried about their kids partaking in negative or dangerous interactions on social media, 54% concerned about their kids viewing inappropriate content and 38% worried about cyberbullying. Interestingly, 71% of parents said their kids claim to know more about online safety than they do.

Just this week, Instagram announced it will be pausing its ‘Instagram Kids’ project amid safety and mental health concerns from parents and officials. The news comes amid criticism towards the platform, which, according to claims in a Wall Street Journal report, knew from its own research that it was “toxic for teen girls.”