Rules of Engagement: Family Rules on Young Children’s Access to and Use of Technologies
This chapter reports on a study conducted in seven countries in which young children’s (aged under 8) digital practices in the home were examined. The study explored family practices with regard to access to and use of technologies, tracing the ways in which families managed risks and opportunities. Seventy families participated in the study, and interviews were undertaken with both parents and children, separately and together, in order to address the research aims. This chapter focuses on the data relating to parental mediation of young children’s digital practices. Findings indicate that parents used a narrow range of strategies in comparison to parents of older children, primarily because they considered their children too young to be at risk when using technologies. However, children’s own reports suggested that some were able to access online sites independently from a young age and would have benefitted from more support and intervention. The implications of the study for future research and practice are considered.
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