Dads Master Technology to Become Better Parents
by Leslie Meredith, TechNewsDaily Senior Writer
June 15 2012 01:30 PM ET
Dads on duty in the movie "What to Expect When You're Expecting"
Dads are no strangers to changing diapers, but when the kids get a little older dads are turning to technology to help them be better parents.
Dads are taking an active role in their children's online activities, according to a report from Euro RSCG, a marketing firm that sponsored a survey of 1,000 U.S. dads. The survey results were divided into two categories: those who are heavy users of technology were dubbed Digital Dads (14 percent of the group), while those who used their gadgets and online services just about as much as their neighbors were called Average Joes, who made up the balance.
Both groups have embraced technology as a parenting tool. Fifty-seven percent of Digital Dads and 32 percent of Average Joes believe the Internet makes it easier to be a parent.
Privacy? Not when you're a parent, according to many watchdog dads. More than three-quarters of Digital Dads and 57 percent of Average Joes are connected to their kids via social media, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Only 15 percent of all dads surveyed consider that an invasion of their kids' privacy.
Some dads go as far as tracking their kids' Web-browsing histories. About 12 percent say they have even "hacked" into their children's email or social media account, and an equal number track their kids location by monitoring their smartphones via GPS software. Every parent knows the rule: find the phone , find the child.
But today's dads, even the hyper-connected ones, know when enough is enough. At least half of the dads said they limit online time for their children, and 42 percent of Digital Dads send their kids outside when it's time for a tech break. Surprisingly, less than a third of Average Joes sent their kids out to play.
Typical dads may have some catching up to do when it comes to seeking advice. Only a quarter of Average Joes have connected with other parents online, while nearly two-thirds of Digital Dads have done so. They are also less likely to look up parenting tips online, compared with their pro-tech counterparts.
But this could be misleading — as the dads show in "What to Expect When You're Expecting," maybe they're meeting with kids strapped to their chests to share their parenting challenges the old-fashioned way — a play group at the park.