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Survey: One in six UK parents can’t operate kids’ gadgets

Many parents may spend a good deal of time glued to the screen of their smartphones fiddling about with all manner of apps, but when it comes to getting a handle on the gadgets they buy for their children, many have no idea how to use them.

A survey by UK website ParentPort found that 16 percent of parents who had bought their child a gadget, such as a games machine or media player, didn’t know how to use it themselves.

The survey, which examined how parents control their children’s access to adult media, questioned 1,800 parents from two UK-based online parenting communities.

The research also revealed that among parents who watched movies at home, four in ten allowed their kids to watch movies classified above their age. At the same time, parents said they kept a close eye on what was coming out of the family’s TV, with 82 percent claiming to know at all times what TV shows or movies their kids are watching. The figure for Internet use was also high, with 77 percent saying they always or usually knew what websites their children were visiting.

However, the survey showed that the growth of smartphone use among the young was a cause for concern among one in eight parents, with many such devices entering the household as a gift from well-meaning friends or relatives. Some parents said they were concerned about smartphones and laptops giving their children unsupervised access to the Web.

There were even instances where pre-teens received 18-rated video games, and those under 10 were given 12-rated DVDs.

ParentPort said the research highlighted “challenges and pressures” faced by parents as they endeavor to keeps tabs on what kind of media their children are engaging with.

If you’re a parent, do you have any special rules for your children when it comes to Internet use, and do you keep a close eye on which movies they’re watching? If your child has a smartphone, does it concern you that you can’t always know what websites they might be exploring?

[Image: Losevsky Pavel / Shutterstock]