Pretty sneaky, mom: While 90 percent of mothers are friends with their children on Facebook, 46 percent of them restrict their kids’ access to their profiles, according to a study by the publisher of Parenting and Babytalk magazines.
This percentage is significantly higher than what we’ve seen in a Kaplan survey of teens, about 65 percent of whom said they are Facebook friends with their parents.
We wonder whether the moms have a more idealized view of things, but it’s possible that some of these mothers might have separate, made-up aliases for befriending their kids on Facebook.
Meanwhile, other findings from the email survey of 1,146 mothers by The Parenting Group are:
- 33 percent of mothers allowed their children to create Facebook pages by age 12, despite the age limit of 13 set by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act and the social network’s own rules.
- 73 percent of moms who aren’t Facebook friends with their kids monitor their Facebook usage by accessing their pages as someone else.
- 77 percent of mothers are friends with their kids’ friends.
- 87 percent limit social media use by their children.
- 52 percent limit their kids to one hour per day on Facebook.
- 30 percent only allow social media use after homework is done.
- 20 percent only allow Facebook access when an adult is present.
The Parenting Group Vice President and Group Publisher Mark Wildman said:
We know that the smartphone is the modern mom’s lifeline, and that Facebook is her communication pipeline, but how and when she introduces her children to both worlds is still uncharted territory for most parents. Moms may be handing over their smartphones to kids on a regular basis, but social media is still an area where parents are putting up a lot of protective barriers to restrict what kids can do. To help families navigate this new world, we’ll explore digital family culture and milestones in every issue of Parenting, and will also be conducting ongoing research to learn how modern family dynamics adapt to new technologies as they emerge.
Speaking of smartphones, the survey also found that:
- 40 percent of moms allow their children to play games on their smartphones on a daily basis.
- 35 percent said their kids use their smartphones for one hour or more daily.
- Mothers average 11 downloaded apps on their devices, with four of them for their children.
Readers: Do these findings mirror Facebook usage by parents and children in your families?