About 50% of Egyptian parents are confident that their children knew what to do while using the internet, a recent study by cybersecurity company Kaspersky on self-regulation of online activities revealed.
Despite this, 83% admitted that they spend too much time on the internet, while almost three quarters (73%) feel that using the internet and mobile devices in general hinders family life.
According to the study, 47% of parents leave their children to set their own usage schedules, compared to 79% of mothers who control that. The study showed that 31% of parents do not feel the need to control their children’s online activities or their internet use.
Although children are familiar with applications and navigating the Internet, digital dangers are sometimes only one click away.
The survey also shows that parents do not restrict their mobile phone habits or the amount of time they spend on the internet. About 83% admitted that they are somewhat addicted to the internet, while 75% of them reported they have used the internet or mobile devices in front of their children at home, and that 57% said they have allowed their online activities to interrupt their conversations with their children.
Accordingly, Kaspersky recommends the following steps to help children appropriately allocate their time online. For one, parents should demonstrate caring for children by stopping an online activity for a while when children need it. They should also avoid hurrying to put an end to the child’s use when spending a lot of time on the internet, and rather calmly discuss the matter with the child, to avoid provoking any negative reactions that might harm the child in the long run.
Kaspersky added that parents should allocate more diverse and attractive activities for their children’s spare time so to encourage them to spend time away from devices, such as trying a new sport or doing more family activities. In addition, researchers recommended to discuss the basic rules for using social media and other communication tools, so as not to affect the study or their interaction with friends in the real world.
The final suggestion was to set rules for all family members, so children do not feel wrong in using the internet. This may not include banning phones at the dining table or a ban on using devices before bed.