Tablet Talk -- Why Parents and Children Should Use Tablets Together
A study presented at the conference of the International Communication Association investigates whether children’s tablet use is related to parent-child conflicts. It turns out that children who often use the tablet have more conflicts with their parents. Additionally, parents who apply rules about tablet use have more conflicts with their children as well. On the contrary, parents have less conflicts with their child if they actively discuss or co-use the tablet with their child.
- Children have more conflicts with their parents about the tablet when:
- they often use the tablet;
- parents apply rules to control their tablet use.
- Children have less conflicts with their parents about the tablet when:
- parents actively discuss and explain the content on the tablet;
- parents and children use the tablet together.
- Parents and caretakers should be aware that it is important to discuss the media content and co-use the tablet with their children, as this seems to lower parent-child conflicts.
Is children’s tablet use related to parent-child conflicts? And, does parents' regulation of tablet use influence these conflicts?
675 parents of young children aged 2 to 10 years (mean age: 6 years old; 50% were boys)
Parents were recruited through preschools in Belgium. A recruitment letter including a link to the online survey was distributed among parents. Parents were asked how much time their child spent on a tablet and how often they regulated their child’s tablet use, by rule-setting or talking about it. The researchers also asked about parent-child conflicts regarding the tablet.
Facts and findings
- Children who often co-used tablets with their parents had less conflicts with their parents.
- Children who often used a tablet and had parents who explained the tablet content or co-used the tablet with them had less conflicts with their parents.
- On the contrary, children who spent much time on the tablet and had parents who applied rules to control their child’s tablet use had more conflicts with their parents.
- Interesting fact: Parents applied a combination of regulation strategies, but most often they applied rules concerning children's tablet use.