More parents to restrict the media content followed by their children

During the coronavirus crisis, parents have been supporting children’s media literacy much more by talking to their children about television and the internet and by limiting the time spent on these media

Jelena Perovic
Vizual za medijsku pismenost
UNICEF Crna Gora
02 May 2020

PODGORICA, 1 MAY 2020 – During the coronavirus crisis, parents have been supporting children’s media literacy much more by talking to their children about television and the internet and by limiting the time spent on these media. However, the number of parents who restrict the media content that their children follow has not increased significantly. These are the results of a recent public opinion poll conducted by Ipsos with the support of UNICEF on a nationally representative sample of parents of children aged 4 to 17.

Before the crisis, just over one-third of parents (38%) talked with their children about what they watched on TV and the internet, and now over two-thirds of parents (70%) are doing so.

Vizual za medijsku pismenost
UNICEF Crna Gora

"The sudden increase in this practice over a month of social distancing indicates that the main challenge faced by parents in normal circumstances is probably finding time to talk with their children about the media content they have been following. This conclusion is also indicated by a sudden increase in the number of parents limiting the time their children spend on the media – now most of them (62%) do this, while only half of parents (49%) did it before the crisis,” explains Ipsos Director for Montenegro Vladimir Raicevic.

However, the number of parents restricting the media content followed by their children has not increased significantly – just over half of parents did it just as much before the crisis as they do now. Only a minority of parents have taken advantage of free content for children and young people in the media provided by cultural institutions. Just over a quarter of parents (27%) say they have watched theatrical plays more often than they did before the coronavirus crisis, thanks to them being broadcast on television. Even fewer parents, only 15 percent, say that they have visited more museums with their children now than before the crisis, thanks to virtual internet visits made possible during the period of social distancing.

Vizual za medijsku pismenost
UNICEF Crna Gora

"The key message of our media literacy campaign is to ‘Choose What We Watch, Read and Listen to’, because the influence of the media depends first and foremost on the content we follow. High-quality media content can support children’s development, as well as this being analysed through conversation with children. Therefore, we invite parents to continue talking to their children after the termination of social distancing measures, and to limit both the time and the content they follow as well,” says UNICEF Montenegro Communication Officer Jelena Perovic.

A half of parents say that during this period they have played social games with their children more than ever before, as well as exercising and preparing meals.

"It is good that parents have used the extra time with their children for offline activities, thus contributing to striking a balance between the time children spend in front of the screen and the time spent on other activities," points out psychotherapist Darija Petovic Bambur.

Almost all parents (94%) are happy because they have had the opportunity to spend much more time with their children during this period. Only one in 10 parents say that they have been bored or do not know how to spend time with their children during this period.

This is the fourth public opinion poll conducted by Ipsos with the support of UNICEF during the coronavirus crisis. The nationally representative sample for this poll covers 804 parents of children aged 4 to 17 in Montenegro. Data was collected through a telephone survey using a questionnaire with an average length of 15 minutes in the period 25–29 April of the current year.

The key findings of this public opinion poll, as well as the previous three surveys, are available on the UNICEF Montenegro website.

IPSOS survey April 2020
UNICEF Montenegro