Being a Good Digital Parent: Managing Children’s Online Risks and Experiences
Drawing on a sample of educational material and media reports that address the role of parents in managing and regulating their children’s digital experiences, this study examines cultural understandings of good parenthood with respect to children’s internet safety. The ways in which the parents, children, and the internet are framed are examined within the cultural context of risk aversion, child-centred intensive parenting, growing concerns about over-parenting and neo-liberal understandings of self-management and responsibility. Initial findings suggest that parents must navigate a number of contradictory expectations based on representations of them as both agents of surveillance and children’s confidantes, and as both lacking in knowledge but having a great deal of control over, and responsibility for, children’s choices. The implications for parents’ and children’s experiences as well as parent-child relationships are discussed.