- Parents spend more than two hours a week helping with homework online
- Families across the UK now spend 38 per cent more time surfing the home internet than five years ago
- Sites like Urban Dictionary help over a quarter of baffled parents understand their children
A new study by Post Office Broadband reveals the true extent to which modern day parents rely on the internet. From homework help to basic communication, the web plays a vital part in 21st century parenting.
With two thirds (64 per cent) of parents admitting they turn to the internet to help with their children’s homework, UK mums and dads spend on average 28 minutes every evening using the internet to help their children with their homework.
Letters in book bags are a thing of the past as over half of parents (58 per cent) reveal their kids’ education has gone electronic. From digital school diaries to online report cards, schools are syncing with modern technology. Over a third (34 per cent) of parents even confess to using the internet to check their child's school progress against their peers.
It’s not only education that the internet is helping with; parents are relying on Google to keep up with kids’ popular culture. Websites like Urban Dictionary are a secret weapon for almost a quarter of parents (23 per cent), helping them to understand teenage terms.
Nearly one in five (17 per cent) say then even search for TV characters that their children talk about, while 15 per cent go online to listen to the music their children like to assess its suitability. One in ten (10 per cent) will even turn to style sites and forums to research fashion trends to understand what their kids would consider fashionable.
Top 10 reasons parents rely on the net:
- Helping with homework (64%)
- School admin (58%)
- School diary (43%)
- Checking academic progress (34%)
- Monitoring children’s ability (34%)
- Looking up phrases (23%)
- Researching films or TV characters shows kids watch (17%)
- Downloading bedtime stories (17%)
- Listening to their kids music (15%)
- Researching what’s fashionable (10%)
As the internet has become integral to modern day parenting, it is no surprise that the Post Office Broadband study found that a good internet connection is now more important than a garage or garden when buying a family home.
Families across the UK now spend 38 per cent more time surfing the home internet than five years ago, with the average family member spending almost three hours (2hours 42mins) connected per day.This results in a collective 8.3 hours a day spent browsing the family internet per UK household.
It’s not only parents’ relationship with the internet that is changing, the study also revealed a significant change in modern family TV consumption, with time spent streaming TV from the web increasing by 75 per cent over the past five years.Household chores are also becoming more internet enabled, with a 46 per cent increase in the use of ‘how to’ videos and a 38 per cent increase in time spent looking at recipes and cooking advice online.
Almost a third (29 per cent) of mums and dads think that this is no bad thing as the report revealed they believe they are closer with their family than ever due to the convenience of being connected. Nevertheless, one in five (20 per cent) still believe mealtimes should be an internet-free zone.
The research study has been developed in partnership with Dr Claire Halsey, parenting expert and family psychologist, who said: “The growth of the connected family means there are many more ways that we can interact. Using the internet has undoubtedly become an integral part of family life, in a very short space of time. We still do things in the real world together, but it's informed in a different way.
“There's a richer range of opportunities at home, and they're more immediate.Learning together is really vital and this Post Office Broadband research has revealed that this is a trend on the rise. Being able to access tools and information online enables us to learn and experience things as a family.”
Despite the importance of getting online, over a third (34 per cent) of the UK parents don’t know their broadband speed and almost half (47 per cent) don’t know the details of their broadband contract, according to Post Office Broadband.
Hugh Stacey, Post Office Broadband, said: “With parents citing all aspects of their children’s lives as ways the internet helps connect them with their families, it is evident that Broadband is becoming increasingly important to day to day family life. However, it is worrying that people still feel overwhelmed when it comes to picking the perfect package for them and their family.
“Like choosing any provider, it is important to families that they feel they are getting both a good deal but also a quality service. Post Office Broadband delivers both reliability and speed we know consumers need, whilst not charging for wasted extras that we can see from the research too often don’t get used.”
For further information on Post Office broadband, including access to the full report, visit http://www.postoffice.co.uk/broadband-mobile
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