“The tablet is my best friend”: practices and perceptions of young children and their parents

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Parents play an important role as mediators between digital media and young children, acting role models and by actively mediating digital practices [Findahl (Swedes and the Internet 2013. The Internet Infrastructure Foundation, 2013); Plowman (Interacting with Computers 27:36–46, 2015); Palaiologou (The European Early Childhood Research Journal 24, 2014)]. The parental mediation style varies from restrictive to enabling [Livingstone et al. (Journal of Communication 67:82–105, 2017)]. Our approach for studying how families are adopting digital technologies in the home is qualitative, using visits to a purposive sample of 25 families (including independent interviews to parents and children, activities with the children and participant observation). We selected a varied sample concerning the gender of the child, family composition and socioeconomic status, in order to obtain a variety of narratives on the phenomenon being studied. The data was analysed using thematic coding and qualitative comparative analysis [Boyatzis (Transforming qualitative information: Thematic analysis and code development. SAGE Publications, 1998); Braun & Clarke (Qualitative Research in Psychology 3:77–101, 2006)]. We identified discrepancies in the discourses of parents and children regarding the perception of dangers and benefits (parents value learning and focus more on risks while children enjoy the fun), the digital skills of children (children are more autonomous and capable than parents think), and criteria for setting rules (parents tend to be restrictive of screen-time but not of content and activities).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationYoung children’s rights in a digital world
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9783030659165
ISBN (Print)9783030659158
Publication statusPublished - 2020


Dive into the research topics of '“The tablet is my best friend”: practices and perceptions of young children and their parents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this