Children whose parents are always on phone more likely to suffer abuse online


Researchers found children that whose parents are more aware of what their kids are up to online get more of the positives from technology, while others are more likely to suffer abuse

Mum using phone while sitting next to daughter
Children whose parents are always on their phone likely to have bad experiences online (Stock photo)

Children whose parents are always on their phone are three times more likely to have bad experiences online than those whose parents give them their full attention, a probe has been found.

It also suggests kids who spend the most time on social media suffer 83% more negative emotions, such as anxiety and self-doubt, rising to 108% more for girls.

And youngsters who spend the most time gaming are 64% more likely to have poor sleep or drop out of sports or exercise.

Researchers found children whose parents are more aware of what their kids are up to online to get more of the positives from technology. Youngsters at the other end of the scale are more likely to carry out destructive behavior and be bullied or groomed online.

Carolyn Bunting, chief executive of Internet Matters, the organization which is behind the probe, said: “The pandemic has had a big effect on children’s experiences and it is good to know children whose parents are on the same page as their kids around digital concerns. are benefitting most from the online world.”

Kids who spend the most time on social media suffer 83% more negative emotions, the study found
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Image:

GettyImages)

It is the first time children and parents from the same household have been surveyed to find out how digital technology affects wellbeing.

The study is based on work by Leicester University which included talking to 1,000 children aged nine to 15.

The report says vulnerable kids were much more likely to feel bad about themselves as a result of digital interactions.

Internet Matters has created an index to measure youngsters’ digital wellbeing and has produced a personalized online safety toolkit with age-specific advice to help parents support their kids online.

The Mirror last month launched the Keep Kids Safe Online campaign.

We are calling on the Government to strengthen the Online Safety Bill amid concern at how children are being bullied and exploited online.

I tried to kill myself after web abuse hell aged 10

Becky was just 10 when she was groomed online by an older teenager.

It led to an intense relationship that resulted in serious online sexual abuse and exploitation, and led to her attempting suicide.

She said: “In primary school, I was bullied by the other girls who picked on me constantly. I was later diagnosed with autism and they picked up on that.

“I felt isolated and really wanted to be accepted.

“At secondary school a girl introduced me to a guy she talked to on MSN. I was about 10 and he was about 16 or 17. I started talking to him every night. I became infatuated with him.

“I was about 14 when it became more sexual. We started video chatting and I realized that to keep getting his validation, I had to keep acting out his fantasies.

“By 15, my mental health was really bad. I took an overdose and was rushed to hospital. A year later, the feelings of worthlessness led to another, which was more serious. I decided to stop talking to him for good.

“I’m now in a really good place after a lot of time and counselling.

“I know none of this was my fault, it was abuse.”

Becky supports the NSPCC’s Wild West Web campaign and their efforts to ensure the Government delivers the best possible Online Safety Bill for children.

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www.mirror.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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