Has The Web Become As Important To Kids As TV?

For years, parents have punished misbehaving kids by banning them from watching TV. Now, a new report shows that Internet access is on the same playing field as TV in many parents' eyes. According to a report from researchers at the University of Southern California, more and more parents are limiting Internet access as a form of punishment as well.

Really, this should come as no surprise given the amount of TV shows and other entertainment-related activities we enjoy over the Web. Among the parents surveyed, two-thirds restrict access to the TV as punishment. This number has remained fairly static for 10 years. By contrast, the number of parents who limit Internet access has nearly doubled in the last 10 years. Over half (57 percent) of the parents surveyed said they withheld Internet access to punish their kids. In 2000, only 32 percent of parents said they limited Internet access during punishment.

Even though parents are beginning to see less of a difference between TV watching and Internet use, parents still seem to be more comfortable with the amount of time kids spend on the computer—71 percent of parents felt their kids' Internet time was "just about right" compared to 51 percent for TV time.