New Canadian Research Finds Parents Need More Resources To Become Digital Role Models

Technology is making families and households more connected than ever, according to the latest research on digital parenting, but parents feel they need more resources to be better digital role models.

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OTTAWA, Oct. 22, 2018 / CNW / - According to the latest research on digital parenting and the digital well-being of Canadian families released today by MediaSmarts, technology is making families and households more connected than never, but parents feel they need more resources and tools to be better digital role models.

"A high number of parents agreed that they were not good role models when it came to healthy digital technology habits for their child (0 to 15 years old)," says Kara Brisson -Boivin, principal researcher for MediaSmarts. This is especially true for parents of younger children. The findings of this study demonstrate that parents need to know their own habits and trends as their children observe and imitate them. "

Funded by Shaw Communications, this research exposes the latest digital activities of Canadian families with a focus on children 15 and under, the challenges parents face and the steps they take to ensure use healthy and balanced digital technology.

“Parents need to be aware of their own technological habits and the gap that exists in digital and media literacy education for all ages,” explains Kathryn Hill, Executive Director for MediaSmarts. Support all family members using MediaSmarts learning tools. Parents can learn to strengthen their knowledge as a family at the same time as their children. We want parents to know that they are not alone in this situation. "

Here are some key findings from this report.

  1. Families are connected to the digital world and have been much more so over the past five years. Access to digital devices and the impacts of digital activities on families are on the rise.
  2. Families Need More Digital Literacy Support: Skill and digital literacy levels affect the extent to which parents put in place rules or guidelines to manage their children's device use or screen time. Four in five parents (81 %) stressed the importance of getting their children to think critically about how they use digital devices.
  3. Parents take a moderate (or balanced) approach education of children in the digital age, but they are concerned about social pressures related to the use of digital technology and themselves feel social pressures to be more stringent.
  4. Parents have digital knowledge. In fact, parents felt they had more of digital knowledge than their children.
  5. A total of 80 % of parents worried about online misinformation, which goes way beyond “fake news”.

"Some previous research have taught us that disinformation grips the minds of young people, and we now see that parents are increasingly concerned about it as well, said Kara Brisson-Boivin. This is the biggest worry of parents and something new to us. "

This recent research contributes to the evidence that forms the very basis of MediaSmarts parent support resources and tools, which include a tip sheet on safer parental over-sharing.

As a major broadband company in Western Canada, Shaw Communications was instrumental in shaping this MediaSmarts research.

“This MediaSmarts research shows that families see the creative and educational benefits of digital technology, while seeing the challenges associated with managing their overall digital well-being,” said Katherine Emberly, President, Business, Brand and Communications at Shaw. This study and the tools that MediaSmarts has developed can help families, educators and policy makers to function better with our increasingly online lifestyle.

About MediaSmarts
MediaSmarts is a Canadian non-profit center dedicated to media education and digital literacy. Its goal is to ensure that children and youth develop critical thinking skills that enable them to use media as active and informed digital citizens. Sure his website, MediaSmarts offers hundreds of digital and media literacy resources for teachers, parents and educators.

For example, for screen time tips for parents, see the four tips from MediaSmarts for managing children's screen time.

SOURCE MediaSmarts

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