Information for parents

Moeder met kinderen die op de smartphone aan het spelen zijn

As a parent, how do you deal with your teenage children that barely talk to you except through the phone, get angry when their phone is taken away and think that their Facebook friends are more important than their school grades? How do you deal with teenagers who hardly leave their room because of playing games, only spend their pocket money on buying new games or upgrades and talk more often about their ‘battle friends’ than about their real friends?

For parents, however, it also has some advantages if their children have a smartphone; after all, it is much easier to keep in touch with your children or to know what and how they are doing. At the same time, many parents find it difficult to deal with the online behaviour of their children. Do you have to be strict? Is it good to go online together? Should children be allowed to take the smartphone to their room? Could you limit access to the smartphone after a certain time? These questions are exactly the kind that we are trying to answer in the DiYo project. What can you do as a parent to prevent your child from developing problems through the excessive use of social media or gaming?

There is still a lot which we do not know. The DiYo project has already shown that:

  • making clear agreements in advance about smartphone use/games and explaining why these agreements are important works better than interrupting the child during use and blowing the whistle without clear agreements;
  • you must be aware as parents of your own online behaviour and its influence on your child;
  • showing interest in the online behaviour of your child is very important. Ask about what your child has done online or which game your child has played.