88% of parents think children are addicted to screens. What are the risks?

The Dutch spend more than 21 years of their lives on the internet, and it seems that their kids aren’t doing any better. In fact, 88% of parents believe that children are addicted to devices. The new school year is about to begin and parents are more concerned than ever about the time their children spend in front of screens.

However, parents don’t do much to help: 85% of them often turn to screens to keep their children entertained. What are the risks and how can parents make their children’s online presence safer?

“Parents often overlook potential risks when using screens to entertain and entertain their children. Inappropriate content, such as sex, violence, hate speech, self-harm or suicide, is one of the most common dangers. Parental control is important, but the extent of the harm is It also largely depends on parents’ digital skills, such as whether they can adjust privacy settings,” says Daniel Markuson, NordVPN’s digital privacy expert.

What other problems online can too much screen time cause?

In addition to inappropriate content and cyberbullying, the following factors are also problematic for children’s online safety:

  • Many children are exposed to content that is not appropriate for them, in places where they should not be. A CyberSafeKids survey shows that 82% of kids between the ages of 8 and 12 have a profile on social media and messaging apps. Parents should ask themselves if their children really need this profile.
  • Companies should base their decisions about product features, content, and user profile settings on an in-depth understanding of their impact on all stakeholders, including children. Parents should check the privacy settings of the apps their children use.
  • It can be difficult to discuss security measures because children’s understanding of technologies, processes, and issues varies and evolves.

Because of the increased risks, all Australian public primary schools have banned the use of smart devices since early 2021. Although this measure has only been in place for a short time, they have observed a significant decrease in the number of behavioral disorders related to phone use and a significant increase in physical activity.

“Technology in itself is not a bad thing. There are many positive aspects to it. But we, especially our children, should not be addicted to it. Many Silicon Valley parents are raising their children without the use of technology, which should be an example for all of us.” Daniel Marcuson added.

Ways you can help your kids manage screen time

Daniel Markuson, NordVPN’s digital privacy expert, offers tips on how parents can help their kids better manage screen time:

  • Stay engaged and encourage good balance. Monitor the games, apps, and devices your child uses. Talk to your child regularly and help your child stay aware of the amount of time he spends on various online and offline activities.
  • Let your child make a plan. Involve your child in creating a plan that balances screen time – including watching TV and browsing the web – and various offline activities.
  • Lead by example by reducing your screen time. You can also put together a written agreement – an online security contract at the household level that clearly states the consequences if someone does not comply with them.
  • Limit the use of digital devices in the home. Device-free zones and times can help limit screen time. For example, turn off all appliances in the bedroom after a certain time, or ask all family members to turn off their appliances at mealtime.


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