Nr. 1-2/2018 - 2
Present study is aimed at exploring digital practices of Romanian 4 to 8 years old children with a focus on parental mediation. Our key research question is how parental mediation takes place when it comes to digital practices of young children. Family is the primary socialization factor shaping young children’s daily habits, practices and lifestyle. A key conclusion drawn from the literature review is that parents do not realise they are role modelling factors in transmitting digital practices to their children. Our exploratory qualitative study is based on the empirical data collected in Romania from March to August 2016, and a desk research performed during 2017: we conducted semi-structured interviews with 24 parents of small children aged 4 to 8 and 14 educators working in kindergartens and elementary schools. In line with EU-wide key findings, Romanian young children’s digital literacy is overestimated, whereas parents’ mediating role as primary technology educators is grossly underestimated. Parents who lack digital skills and awareness have a passive attitude towards shaping children’s digital experiences, and seem to ignore the fact that they are role models for their kids.
Keywords: Romanian young children, digital practices, parental mediation, online risks and harms.