My 12-year-old daughter is allowed to spend one hour per day online. She thinks that this is too little. During weekends she is allowed to spend more time on the Internet, and then she sits in front of the computer for hours if we don’t stop her. What kind of rules do you recommend in relation to how much time children should be allowed to spend online?
Answer from Kids and Media’s Director:
I recommend that you and your daughter have a conversation about what her time spent online is used for. Schoolwork, social life, gaming and entertainment are the primary online activities for children 12-years of age. How much of her time online is used for homework? What other activities does she like to do on the Internet? Which activities are good, and are there any activities or impressions she is exposed to that you feel are not good? On a general basis I am more concerned about what children actually see and do online, rather than how much time they spend on different media – within reasonable limits, of course.
I would also recommend you to consider your daughter’s time spent on different media. How much time does she spend in total on TV, films, video games, surfing on the net and on her mobile phone? Children may have different interests, also in media usage – perhaps you can agree on some time frames in terms of total time spent on media during a week?
At the same time I think it makes sense that you are clear on boundaries. I also think it is reasonable to allow your daughter to spend more time online during weekends.