No Internet For You, Young Man

According to a new study, parents see internet access similar to how they see watching television — especially when it comes to using it as punishment.  More than half of American households take away television viewing privileges as punishment, a figure that has not changed significantly over the last ten years.  What has changed is the number of parents that use internet access as a form of punishment as well.

More than half of households with children under 18 — 57 percent — deny access to the internet as a means of discipline, an increase from 32 percent in 2000 says the survey done by the USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future.   Interestingly, more parents thought the amount of time their children spent on the internet was just about right than thought the same about television.  And compared to the number of parents who felt their kids spent too much time in front of the tube, noticeably fewer felt that was about the internet.

In our household, our kids spend more time watching TV than they should, I’m afraid, and, perhaps surprisingly, far less time than they ought to connected to the internet.  Consequently, we do revoke their television privileges as punishment — my oldest is cut off today, in fact — but we don’t take away computer time.  What happens in your household?  Which, if either, do you use as a carrot for good behaviour?

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