19/02/2020

69% Of NI Parents Express Concern For Their Children

Almost a third of parents across Northern Ireland are concerned about their child's future, a survey has revealed.

Of the 1,358 subjects who responded to Parenting NI's Big Parenting Survey, 82% revealed they do not feel they have enough support, a figure that shows no improvement on last year's results.

The 69% who expressed concern about their children's future represents a 3% increase on the previous set of data.

Meanwhile, 75% reported to having "deep concerns" about the role technology plays in their children's lives and wellbeing, 71% found it difficult to monitor and only 23% felt they get enough support on technology.

In particular, smartphones and social media emerged as a major cause of concern for local parents.
News Image
Mum-of-three Jenny Smithson spoke of her parenting experience: "Smartphones and social media are incredibly concerning for parents. My girls are dabbling on the edges for now - going on YouTube, playing a few games, researching for school. However, I still wonder about how we equip them for this place full of great possibilities and knowledge, but where there are many dangers.

"I don't want my girls to be caught in the trap of living out their social interactions online, of comparing their lives, relationships, and bodies with the fake world that these things celebrate. I know that the main responsibility for protection in this area (as in all areas) lies with us, the parents, and so I feel that any support that can be provided for parents is really valuable."

According to the survey, parents have made it very clear that not enough is being done to tackle a range of issues, including mental health, technology and childcare.

Maria Rogan, Director for Training and Development at Parenting NI said: "A pervasive feeling of worry has taken root in Northern Irish parents, and policy makes need to act urgently to address their concerns. The return of elected, locally accountable government offers a chance to improve things, and we call upon all parties to act swiftly."



(JG/MH)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

12 March 2020
Benefit Payments Will Continue During Self-Isolation
Benefit claimants have been reassured that their payments will not be affected by self-isolation due to Covid-19. The Department for Communities clarified the situation via a statement on Wednesday. Anyone unable to attend an appointment at their Jobs and Benefits office or medical assessment centre is advised to let officials know immediately.
18 March 2020
Call For Police Support Over Comber Murder Bid
An Alliance MLA has issued a call for support for the police following a shooting in Comber. The gun attack on Sunday night, 15 March, is being treated as attempted murder. A man in his 50s had driven into a yard in the Ballycreely Road area of the town when a masked man armed with a suspected handgun emerged from a hedge.
23 March 2020
NI Hospice Chief In Call For Vital Supplies
The Northern Ireland Hospice is demanding intervention by the Northern Ireland Executive to ensure provision of vital supplies for palliative care services. Hospice chief Heather Weir said they are facing difficulties accessing protective equipment for both the Adult and Children's Hospice.
18 March 2020
Latest Coronavirus Figures Emerge
A further six coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Northern Ireland as the first and deputy First Ministers call for a "whole of society" approach. Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill say measures to support and protect the general public will only be effective if everyone follows health advice. The new cases bring totals to 68.
18 March 2020
SDLP Demands Clarity For Farmers
An SDLP MLA has demanded financial clarity for farmers across Northern Ireland. Mid Ulster representative Patsy McGlone addressed the NI Assembly at Stormont on Monday 16 March, calling for action on what direct payments will be made available post-Brexit.