While social media has been associated with a negative impact on children, 61 per cent parents feel that the online medium has enabled them to keep a track of “tweens”, according to a survey. “Tweens” is a term given to children between the early elementary grades and those entering teenage.
55 per cent of parents would read their tween’s texts or social media pages to learn if their tween was invited to a boy-girl party at the home of an unfamiliar family.
Also, 39 per cent of parents reported tracking their tween’s location on their cell phone during the party.
Mothers were more likely, than fathers, to say they would use technology to monitor their tweens, according to a report from the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health.
“The tween stage brings new challenges for parents as they often must balance their child’s desire for more freedom and independence with supervision. It’s not an easy balancing act,” said Sarah Clark, poll co-director.
“In some families, reading text messages or social media posts might be seen as ‘spying.’ But in others, parents discuss rules including sharing passwords,” said Clark.
“Establishing family rules around the use of social media, and discussing the reasons for those rules, is an important part of parenting tweens,” Clark said, in a statement released by the varsity.
However, 91 per cent still wanted to get the information about their child via the traditional way, which includes talking with the parents of their kids’ classmates.
About one in four parents reported being very concerned about their tweens experimenting with sexual activity, marijuana or other drugs, beer or liquor, and guns or other weapons.
Importantly, two-thirds of the parents agreed that tweens need some freedom to make mistakes, and balancing freedom with supervision.
“Parents must balance their responsibility to help their tween learn to be responsible and make good decisions while ensuring their tween’s safety,” Clarks said.