Is the internet a good or a bad influence on children? Used correctly it can help them study and it provides creative and interactive learning resources. However, as many adults know, access to the internet 24/7 can have negative consequences. Distraction from work and family life, as well as a disturbed night’s sleep if digital devices are used before going to bed.
If the internet can do that to adults, just imagine what the distraction they provide for children. A new study from of 3000 parents by Stop Procrastinating, the productivity website, discovered that a majority of parents had found that their children were using social media and browsing the web when they should be sleeping.
This caused issues that next day with children being more irritable, less able to concentrate and more tired in the classroom. Parents said that teachers noticed a gradual drop in performance in the classroom. Independent research has also found that the grades of children who use the internet too much are lower than those who don’t.
The survey also found that children are undermining their school work by using social media while doing their homework. Research found that this multi-tasking impairs memory development and reduces concentration.
Luckily, the study also asked parents to reveal the techniques and strategies they use to reduce the negative impacts of social media and the internet on their children. This was especially important as many parents in the study felt disempowered by the prevalence of the internet, believing they had little chance to control their children’s use of it.
The best and most popular strategies were those that combined building up a trusting relationship with their children, so that they were able to have open conversations about the internet without stress and confrontation, and boundary-setting by parents. For instance, stopping children using digital devices an hour before they go to bed. Some parents also tried to make cutting down on internet use a challenge that their children could share and compete with their friends by creating a digital detox challenge week.
The survey has been designed into an accessible infographic which details all the findings and help for parents who want to control and reduce their children’s internet use. You can view the infographic below: