Although parenthood has many dimensions, one of the most recent and emerging is in the realm of the Internet. There is no doubt that Internet consumption has increased a lot compared to the last decade and that it currently mainly concerns children and adolescents.
While there are positive sides to this growing indulgence of Internet use, there are also counterproductive sides.
This is where the role of a distinct parenting style emerges which not only has a huge impact on the parent-child relationship in the context of the Internet, but also forces parents to be more careful with their parenting style.
According to a study published in the Journal of Life Science and Biomedicine, any inability to control Internet use that causes distress and dysfunction in daily life is called problematic Internet use or Internet addiction. Their research study showed that a child’s problematic Internet use differs significantly with parenting styles.
The study shows surprising results. The result shows that the highest level of problematic Internet use is significantly associated with authoritarian parenting style. Additionally, permissive and authoritarian parenting styles were associated with low levels of problematic Internet use.
“These findings align with recent research that has shown how authoritarian parenting makes a child more receptive to parental influence because parents do not impose their beliefs on their children but rather provide them with reasons and explanations for adopting certain behaviors, actions, and values. These results also support findings that children of authoritative parents were less likely to use illicit substances, tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs than those of neglectful parents,” the report said. .
Another study found in the International Journal of Research Education and Science (IJRES) which also talks about the impact of parenting style and parent-child relationship on the regulation of internet use and says that warm relationships in family decrease the level of Internet dependency, while low kindness in the family structure increases the level of dependency.
Apart from children, internet addiction is also seen in parents. According to studies, parents with higher income and higher level of education tend to use the internet more. While on the one hand, they can provide a friendly environment for their kids on how to use the internet, on the other hand, their indulgence leaves them neither the time nor the opportunity to keep an eye on the kids.
Parental supervision is an important protective factor in controlling Internet addiction in children, especially students. A warm approach, regular monitoring and frequent discussion of website content are some of the ways to reduce internet addiction in children.