More than 67% of parents surveyed believe that the digital age has made parenting more difficult, and 25% wish the internet was never invented, according to results from a survey released today by Life360, the leading safety and coordination service for families worldwide. To manage family life in this digital age, parents report they take extra precautions when it comes to their children’s online and social lives, with nearly one-fifth (19%) of those with children older than 13 admitting they check their children’s social media accounts 4-6 times per day. The nationwide survey of 2,000 American parents of children ages 6-25, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Life360, focused on current parenting trends and concerns held by today’s parents.
Parents and Technology – a Delicate Balance
- Families on average exchange more than 10,000 messages per year, and 34% of parents reported that their family exchanges upwards of 30 text and social media messages per day.
- Of parents surveyed with children older than 13, more than half (56%) require that their children allow them access to their social media accounts for monitoring purposes, which they check 3.4 times per day, on average.
- Parents would rather their children use the internet without supervision (at an average age of 12) than go out with friends unsupervised (13).
- The majority of parents (64%) feel compelled to buy the latest and most expensive tech gadgets and gear for their kids because of pressure from their peers, their kids, and themselves.
The Impact of Gender and Age on Parenting
- Parents report checking in daily with their sons via text or phone call (7 times) more than with their daughters (6 times).
- They also check their sons’ social media accounts more, reporting an average of 3.81 times per day, compared to 2.86 times per day for their daughters’ accounts.
- When considering their children who currently are, or were, in elementary school, parents are more concerned that their sons will make bad decisions due to peer pressure (44%) than their daughters (36%).
Two of the top three concerns for parents of elementary aged children are specific to the digital age: 47% worry that their kids are spending too much time in front of screens, and 41% are concerned that they are being negatively influenced by the media.
- Parents believe their sons spend too much time in front of screens (53%), compared to their daughters (42%).
- Parents are more concerned that their children will be negatively influenced by the media (41%) than that they won’t make friends (26%).
Nearly one-third (30%) of all parents who have, or have had, a K-12 student are concerned their children will post or send content online that might negatively affect their reputation.
- For parents considering children who are, or were, middle school students, 35% worry that their sons will post or send content online that will negatively affect their reputation, compared to 27% when it comes to their daughters.
To view the full survey, visit https://www.life360.com/blog/.
To explore these findings with parents and promote positive conversations within families about navigating the ups and downs of parenting in the age of technology, Life360 is kicking off a collaboration with National PTA, which has been working to address digital safety issues that are top of mind for families and connect parents with relevant tools, research and support.
As part of National PTA’s Back-to-School Week (Sept. 16-20, 2019), Life360 will release a downloadable guide with insights from Life360’s survey, discussion starters and best practices to help promote family connectivity in ways that increase comfort and clarity for parents.
“As parents and children both adjust to back-to-school routines, families will face a number of challenges unique to this busy time of year,” said Chris Hulls, Co-Founder and CEO, Life360. “Some of these challenges – like coordinating hectic schedules and bringing first-time teen drivers into the fold – take on an extra layer of complexity in the digital age. That’s why we’ve teamed up with National PTA to create a ‘Modern Parenting Go-Guide’ that will help parents navigate the ins and outs of digital parenting and give them tools to promote safety and connectivity in their households.”
Life360 will serve as an official supporting sponsor of National PTA’s PTA Connected initiative, which in part strives to help parents and kids make the best decisions for their families and help children act safely and thoughtfully online. In the 2019-2020 school year, grants will be awarded to select local PTAs across the country by National PTA, with support from Life360, to promote digital safety and connectivity education.
“Life360’s research tells us that many families still have concerns about today’s digital world,” said Leslie Boggs, president of National PTA. “For this reason, we are especially pleased to team up with Life360 to empower parents with more resources to have proactive, productive dialogue with their kids about their digital lives and activities. National PTA believes in a positive, hands-on approach to parenting in the digital age, and we are thankful that Life360 shares this mindset.”
This online survey was conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Life360 in the United States between August 2, 2019 and August 14, 2019. The 2,000 panelists who have at least one child aged six to 25 were selected and invited to participate at random from a double-opted in and fully managed online research panel.
OnePoll is a corporate member of ESOMAR and employs members of the MRS, employing standards that adhere to the MRS code of conduct.
Life360 operates a platform for today’s busy families, bringing them closer together by helping them better know, communicate with and protect the people they care about most. The Company’s core offering, the Life360 mobile app, is a market leading app for families, with features that range from communications to driving safety and location sharing. Life360 is based in San Francisco and has more than 20 million MAU located in more than 160 countries.
About National PTA:
National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health and welfare of children and youth. For more information, visit PTA.org.
Life360 has become a Proud National PTA Sponsor and an official Supporting Sponsor of PTA Connected. National PTA does not endorse any commercial entity, product, or service. No endorsement of Life360 is implied.