Once parents relied on their children to help them set the video recorder. But in the age of apps, iPods and 3D portable games consoles, the digital divide may have got a little wider.
One in six â€“16% â€“ of parents admitted buying their children a device or gadget that they did not fully understand how to use, according to a survey published on Wednesday.
The report, on how parents control their children’s access to adult media, said a quarter of children were allowed to play games classified above their age, and 40% were allowed to watch films above their age limit.
The online survey by ParentPort featured 1,800 respondents from the UK’s two largest online parenting communities, Mumsnet and Netmums.
ParentPort said it revealed the “challenges and pressures parents face when it comes to keeping the media their children see age-appropriate”.
More than four-fifths â€“ 82% â€“ of parents said they closely supervised what films and television programmes their children watch, and 77% said they always or usually know what websites their children visit.
But parents were also concerned about their children being given smartphones and laptops as gifts which would give them unsupervised access to the internet, and inappropriate 18-rated video games.
ParentPort was set up in October last year to make it easier for parents to complain about inappropriate content across the media. It was jointly developed by bodies including the BBC Trust, the Press Complaints Commission and Ofcom.
The Ofcom chief executive, Ed Richards, said: “This survey reveals the challenges facing parents when it comes to their children’s use of the media.
“ParentPort now gives parents an easy way to register their concerns with the media regulators who work to protect children from inappropriate material.”
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