Values & practices

Parenting for a Digital Future… the book!

This post introduces our forthcoming book, Parenting for a digital future: How hopes and fears about technology shape our children’s lives. Based on in-depth interviews of British parents, educators and children, we ask how parents are tackling the challenges of the digital media landscape. We identified three main approaches to digital parenting, ’embracing’, ‘challenging’ and ‘resisting’, that were adopted by groups of parent across different backgrounds. Sonia Livingstone is Professor of […]

Six myths about children in the digital age

Today Sonia Livingstone is presenting on the panel at the Digital Families 2018 conference discussing the future for young people online – risks, opportunities and resilience. In this post Sonia talks about some of the myths about children in a digital age. Sonia Livingstone is Professor of Social Psychology in the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics […]

October 10th, 2018|Featured, Reflections|0 Comments|

Portuguese families facing the challenges of screen time

How are today’s young Portuguese children engaging with screens? How are parents balancing digital media in their children’s lives? In this post, Cristina Ponte, Teresa Sofia Castro, José Alberto Simões, Susana Batista and Ana Jorge show that many parents would rather have their children involved with other activities than watching TV, but that most parents also use screens as a way to keep […]

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    In the digital home, how do parents support their children and who supports them?

In the digital home, how do parents support their children and who supports them?

Today is Safer Internet Day, a day when the international community of industry, NGOs, parenting advocates, educators, researchers, parents and young people celebrate what’s good about the internet, and issues a call to action to create a “better internet for everyone, in particular the youngest users.” What better time to take stock of how parents and children are finding […]

A new forum for ‘social fatherhood’

How do non-biological fathers take on their role as ‘social fathers’? What resources are available to them? In this post Clare Deane and Martin Robb report on the experience of using a forum on the site to explore the topic of social or non-biological fatherhood. The project is part of a joint initiative between The Open University and Family […]

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    How can parents become ‘screenwise’? An interview with Devorah Heitner

How can parents become ‘screenwise’? An interview with Devorah Heitner

In our research parents often complain that they don’t know where to turn to for advice about digital media, finding that the old ‘screen time’ rules don’t serve them well in a digital age. This is why we’ve contributed to resources to help guide parents and educators, and why we periodically feature the work of experts who are out […]

October 4th, 2017|Featured, Reflections|1 Comment|

Under the limelight: Celebrity parents sharenting

This post explores sharenting as it relates to celebrity parents. Beyond the usual concerns of parents (over)sharing about their children online, for celebrities, sharenting can become a monetised practice where children are often used as the face of brands and campaigns.  Ana Jorge and Lidia Marôpo have studied the topic of children of celebrities since 2010, and suggest combining a rights-based […]

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    Tablet totalitarianism – how an obsession with ‘screen time’ misses the point

Tablet totalitarianism – how an obsession with ‘screen time’ misses the point

With the start of the school year, backpacks will be filled with notes home to parents. Instead of the expected warnings about forgotten PE kits last year, though, one mother discovered a flyer from her child’s school exhorting parents to tell their kids to ‘PUT DOWN THAT TABLET!’ Concerned about the negative tone, and lack of balance, mum and […]

September 6th, 2017|Featured, Reflections|2 Comments|

Tiger Mom 2.0: (Over)parenting for a digital future?

In this Digital Age, are we setting up our children to fail? Following the ‘helicopter parenting’ concept of the 1990s Miriam Rahali looks into new pressures on parents (and children). As social media outlets allow parents to ‘overshare’, Miriam suggests that the anxiety of yesterday’s helicopter parents—who held unattainable standards for their children—have extended to the digital sphere at […]

Sharenting – in whose interests?

In this post, Stacey Steinberg explores her own personal conflicts around ‘sharenting’.  Social media enable parents to share their parenting experiences, with their children’s rights to privacy often overlooked. Here, she discusses the tensions and problems it creates, as well as some proposed policy suggestions and a recommendation for a public health model. Stacey is a legal skills professor at the University […]