This paper aims to investigate how, where and when parents are mediating their children’s media activities and with which particular device. It also explores whether parents are identifying specific help in this area and questions where they might seek advice (should they need it). Furthermore, it investigates parents’ views regarding a pilot, free online TV channel dedicated to advice through discussion with experts, parents and children.
This small-scale study uses charts and semi-structured interviews to explore the views of parents/carers to better understand lived experiences in relation to mediated digital parenting in the home. The methodology was also designed so that findings will inform further production of relevant content for a video-based resource.
Although this study was limited in duration and scope, the results clearly support earlier research (Livingstone, 2018a, 2018b; Ofcom, 2017) regarding the desperation parents feel through not being able to access appropriate advice in the way they want it. Furthermore, findings provide overwhelming support for the potential benefits of relevant predominantly visually-based online content/advice.
The study raises questions about the empowerment of parents/carers in their own digital skills as a way of transferring confidence to their children, in navigating their way through the educational and social affordances and online safety issues through the use of accessible filmed content.
The findings show that issues, such as online safety and related behavioural pressures, remain key for parents and that there is an increasing need for more targeted support and ways to empower parents/grandparents with skills to enhance children’s digital agency. Furthermore, it offers an insight into ways in which styles of “enabling mediation” in the digital age may be analysed and reveals some of the day to day challenges parents face.
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