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The Parent-Child Gap: Bridging the Digital Divide

A communication gap between parents and children has always existed and the Internet has widened the chasm. This generation is the first to grow up "plugged in." New access to the world, combined with the technological anxiety that many adults face, has turned the gap into a Digital Divide. i-SAFE America surveyed parents and students in grades 5 through 12. The results confirm a Digital Divide that will swallow our kids if nothing is done. Here are the parents' beliefs verses the students' reality.

Parents' Beliefs

  • 87% say they have established rules for their kids Internet use
  • 54% feel they are limited to monitor and shelter their kids from inappropriate material on the Internet
  • 69% feel they know a lot about what their kids do on the Internet
  • 31% have disciplined their child because of their Internet use
2003-05 i-SAFE survey of 4,500 parents

Students' Reality

  • 36% say parents or guardians have NOT made rules for their use of the Internet
  • 41% do NOT share what they do and where they go on the Internet with their parents
  • 29% say their parent or guardian would disapprove if they knew what they were doing on the Internet
  • 36% have NOT discussed how to be safe on the Internet with their parent or guardian
  • 22% say the computer they use most often is in their room
  • 73% say there is a need for kids and teens to learn about Internet safety
2003-05 i-SAFE survey of 55,000 students

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