Social Icons

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Blocking - no longer a viable option (CC: @Securly)

A recent survey to 2000 parents of children aged between 11 and 16 has found that 56 per cent felt that using parental web filters could damage their relationship with their children.

The general feeling was that they wanted their children to develop the self-discipline to control their own internet use. What’s more, many parents feel unable to make children study by blocking internet access, as homework often requires online research.

The research also found that 63 per cent of parents said confiscating smart phones and tablets was futile. 70 per cent feared social media could distract children from their work.

"What am I supposed to do? Stop her when she says it's essential for her homework. But when she's meant to be working, she's actually on social media on the computer," said the mother of 15-year-old Elly, from Worcestershire.

The parent of a 12-year-old said an attempt to block the internet had resulted in rebellion: "She just sat there and didn't do her homework for the whole time the internet was blocked."

Siobhan Freegard, co-founder of the parenting website Netmums, said parental internet filters could be blunt instruments, signalling "a total lack of trust and understanding" between parents and children.

Dialogue was better, she suggested, along the lines of: "Come on, let's get this homework done," but she admitted it could be difficult.

One particular parent commented that they now use software that allows their daughter to set her own homework targets, block the internet for the time she needs to achieve these targets and award herself success ratings when she completes her homework in time.

"She's in full control. She loves it. She writes down her goals, puts in the social media sites she wants to block and the amount of time," said Elly's mother.

You can read the full article on the BBC website at