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Roblox survey reveals disconnect between parents and teens over online bullying

Majority of parents believe their children will discuss online behaviour with them, but more than half of teens disagree

There is a significant disconnect between how parents and teens view their relationship when it comes to talking about inappropriate behaviour in online games.

That's according to a new digital civility survey commissioned by Roblox, which gathered responses from more than 3,500 US parents with children aged seven to 17, and 580 teenagers.

93% of parents claim they at least "occasionally" talk appropriate online behaviour with their kids, but 60% of teens say they "rarely or "never" have such conversations with their parents.

Similarly, 91% of parents believe their kids will come to them if they experience online bullying or other issues, but only 26% of teens say this is what they would do. Instead, most teens (53%) will report the issues to the game or platform, while 33% will tell another adult.

"This data highlights the importance of initiating potentially uncomfortable conversations about appropriate online behavior and keeping open communication channels with your children," said Laura Higgins, director of digital civility at Roblox.

"The internet is a vast and daunting place, particularly for those of us who didn't grow up in the digital world, but getting involved in our kids' digital lives is our best chance to raise a generation of empowered digital citizens. Simply checking in every day to see what your kids are experiencing online will help build a trusting and open relationship, encouraging them to ask you for help when they need it most."

The one thing parents and teenagers do agree on is how concerned they are about online bullying. 91% of parents and 77% of teens says that it is at least "somewhat" of a problem for children today.

The definition of bullying varies, with 51% of teens saying that making fun of someone counts, while 42% base it around calling other players rude names or encouraging people to target them.

Nearly one in five teens (19%) said they had dealt with online bullying in the past 12 months, while 22% of parents have reported incidents that involved their children.

65% of teens say they often see others using inappropriate language during online games, but only 27% admit to using their language themselves.

The survey also highlighted difference in parental attitudes towards their children's interaction with games and the internet based on the generation they belong to.

68% of millennial parents say they are "very aware" of their kids' online activities, while only 48% of Gen X and 47% of Baby Boomer parents said the same.

On a similar note, 55% of millennial parents use parental controls and other tools to track their kids' online activities, compared to 42% and 47% of Gen X and boomer parents respectively.

37% of millennial parents are likely to play video games with the kids in order to monitor or better understand their activity. This came in at 29% for Gen X and 24% of boomers.

Across all three generations, there were parents who admit they do not monitor their children's behaviour. 42% of these say it's because they don't feel the need to do so, while 20% claim they are unaware how this can be done.

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