TOP > Data > Digital Media and Children > [Survey of Media Use by Children and Parents] 2-2. Reference for Setting Rules for Media Use - Talking with Fellow Moms

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[Survey of Media Use by Children and Parents] 2-2. Reference for Setting Rules for Media Use - Talking with Fellow Moms


The survey results show that mothers established family rules for children's media use based on the opinions of their spouse, their own experiences, and then, the opinions of fellow/older moms; and that the most popular topic among mothers regarding digital media was "TV programs."

Mothers tend to decide family rules for children's media use based on their own experiences while listening to the opinions of their spouse and fellow moms as well

What factors do mothers take into account when they are deciding family rules for children's media use? We asked the respondents about all of the factors they consider. The survey results (Figure 2-2-1) revealed that 57.9% of mothers replied that they took into account the "opinions of their spouse," 39.9% replied they considered their "own experiences," 37.2% considered "opinions of fellow/older moms," 19.4% replied "opinions of own parents" and 12.7% replied "opinions of kindergarten/day-care center teachers." This indicates that the mothers rely much on others' opinions when deciding family rules.

As for printed information, 29.5% of mothers replied they referred to "parenting magazines," 14.0% replied "newspaper/magazines," and 11.6% replied "books." As for online information, as many as 18.6% of mothers replied "parenting websites" while very few mothers replied "personal blogs," "community websites/SNS" and "Twitter."

Although it is not shown in the figure, a large generation gap exists among mothers of different ages regarding those who replied they determined family rules based on their "own experiences." Results show 30.1% of mothers aged 29 years and below while the percentage increases to 44.1% for mothers aged 40 years and above. In contrast, 34.7% of mothers aged 29 years and below replied they referred to "parenting magazines" while the percentage dropped to 26.6% for mothers aged 40 years and above. This indicates that older mothers are more likely to determine family rules based on their own experiences rather than external information.

The replies of mothers also show some disparity depending on whether or not their children, aged 1 to 3 years, attended day-care centers. While 40.1% of mothers with children not attending day-care centers replied that they relied on "opinions of fellow/older moms," fewer mothers (31.9%) with children attending day-care centers replied so. In contrast, only 8.2% of mothers with children not attending day-care centers replied that they relied on "opinions of kindergarten/day-care center teachers," while 22.2% of mothers with children attending day-care centers replied so. The above results indicate that mothers with children aged 1 to 3 years who attend day-care centers tend to listen to the opinions of childcare workers, while mothers with children in the same age category who do not attend day-care centers rely on "opinions of fellow/older moms." Likewise, there is some disparity among mothers with children aged 4 to 6 years who attend kindergartens or day-care centers. While 41.2% of mothers with children who attend kindergartens replied they relied on "opinions of fellow/older moms," fewer mothers (27.2%) with children who attend day-care centers replied so. This indicates that mothers tend to rely on different information sources depending on the environment of children.

On the other hand, as for the use of new media such as smartphones and tablets, there is not much to refer to at the moment, let alone the experience of parents, the information regarding children's use of such media is yet to be accumulated. Therefore, it may be necessary for mothers to determine family rules by consulting their spouse, fellow moms, and kindergarten or day-care center teachers every time new devices and tools become available for children.

Figure 2-2-1 Reference for setting rules for media use

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The most popular topic regarding digital media among fellow moms is "TV programs"

How often do mothers talk with other mothers about digital media for children? We asked the respondents how often they talked with other mothers about each media. The survey results (Figure 2-2-2) show that more than 30% of mothers with children aged six months and older replied that they talked "very often" or "often" about "TV programs," accounting for 51.8% of the total respondents. Likewise, more than 30% of mothers with children aged 2 to 5 years replied "very often" or "often" about "videos and DVDs," accounting for 28.6% of the total respondents. In contrast, more than 80% of mothers with children of all ages replied "very rarely" and "never" about "video apps and software," "educational apps and software," and "game apps and software."

The above results indicate that mothers tend to talk with fellow moms about "TV programs," but rarely talk about applications and software.

Figure 2-2-2 How often mothers talk with fellow moms about digital media

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