“Mommy, phone please!” – Being smart about kids and gadgets

Have you ever questioned your parenting while watching your child engrossed with his gadget? You aren't alone. Check out this survery about kids and gadgets across South East Asia.

Did your own childhood look like this?

Did your own childhood look like this?

Moms and dads – take a moment and think back to your own childhood. What did you do in your spare-time after school, during the weekends and the holidays?

You probably played outside with your neighbors from down the street. Spent the afternoon playing “Ice, ice, water!”, rode your bike or even read a book.

These days, our kids spend their free time differently.

They are children born into a world of technology, and as such, gadgets and electronic devices like Smartphones and tablets feature quite heavily in their little worlds.

Nowadays, it may not be all that surprising to see your toddler skillfully using devices to watch their favorite shows. Or to see your older kids oblivious to their surroundings while playing a game on their tablet.

As helpful as a gadget may be, you may be questioning whether or not you should be letting your child use a gadget because of the many dangers that it poses (such as addiction, impact on eyesight and it’s correlation to childhood obesity).

But if it’s any comfort, you may be interested to know that you are among a whopping 98% of South East Asian parents who allow their kids to use a device of some sort despite said fears.

device use by kids

This was revealed by a recent study conducted by theAsianparent Insights and Samsung Kidstime™, which took a look at how kids in the Southeast Asian region use devices and how parents control their children’s device usage.

The “Mobile Device Usage Among Young Kids: A Southeast Asia Study” was conducted in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, and over 2,500 parents of kids aged between 3 to 8 years old took part in it.

To find out more about the results of this study, please go to the next page…

device use by kids

A very large number of kids in South East Asia use electronic devices on a daily basis

What did the study find out?

The study was conducted in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines earlier this year, and over 2,500 parents of kids aged between 3 to 8 years old took part it.

Here are some of the most interesting findings:

  • 98% of parents in Southeast Asia let their kids use devices, with Singapore having the highest number of kids using a device owned by their parents. While in the Philippines, only 58% of children use their parents’ devices.
  • Parents mostly allow their kids to use a device for educational purposes. Kids are also allowed device usage by their parents for entertainment, early exposure to technology, and to keep them quiet or busy.
device use by kids

Moms who participated in the survey shared their kids’ device usage behavior.

  • Even though parents want their kids to use devices for education, kids mostly use their devices for entertainment purposes (surprise, surprise!). They also use devices for over 1 hour per sitting.
  • Parents are very worried about exposure to inappropriate content, addiction and health problems when it comes to their kids’ device usage.
device use by kids

Parents share their worries and concerns on device usage.

  • Because of this, parents want devices to come with control mechanisms so they can monitor their kids better.
  • Some of the control mechanisms parents would like include: being able to set a time limit, preventing in-app purchases, and the ability to monitor usage progress.
device use by kids

What monitoring features do most parents want in their devices?

What the study makes clear is that parents are very aware of both the benefits and risks of device use by their kids. Also, that parents would have more peace of mind if the devices that their children used entailed parental control features and were being used by their kids mostly for educational purposes.

This is not to say that kids should only be learning Math and Science when using a device. But even if they do use it for entertainment, the content they view should be meaningful and ideally teach them something useful.

device use by kids

What are your kids really downloading on their devices?

So how do you make device-use a meaningful experience for both yourself and your kids? Click here to find out.

Article originally published on: theAsianparent.com

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