American parents are increasingly concerned about their child's mental health as the pandemic reaches it's one year mark

·3-min read

The majority of American parents are worried about their child's mental health more than ever, according to new research.

The study asked 2,000 American parents of school-aged children (approximately 1,800 of which are currently learning remotely in some form) how their child is coping with the pandemic overall as well as continued remote learning.

An overwhelming 93% of parents shared they have concerns about their child's mental health as the pandemic continues, and 71% of these respondents are more concerned than ever before. 

Four in 10 of all parents polled said their child is no longer showing interest in classes they used to enjoy and 27% said their child is no longer showing interest in hobbies they used to enjoy.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Lightspeed Systems, the survey found parents also are concerned about the lack of social interaction with peers (35%).

Forty-two percent of parents also said their child is struggling to turn in assignments on time.

For the 93% of parents that are concerned about their child's mental health, 66% want to talk to their child about their mental health, but don't know how to approach the conversation.

Additionally, over half (56%) of these respondents also believe their child is showing signs of depression.

"At a time when parents are most concerned about a child's mental health, it's imperative that school devices are armed with web filters that utilize artificial intelligence to monitor and analyze each students' online activity for signs of self-harm, suicide, cyberbullying, and other inappropriate behaviors," said Brian Thomas, CEO of Lightspeed Systems. "In fact, our software has flagged more than 28,000 instances this school year to date alone. 

For families learning remotely that have school-issued devices for their child to use (approximately 1,000 respondents), 67% wish they could monitor their child's online presence on these devices more efficiently.

In fact, 66% of these parents shared they're worried about online safety on school-issued computers for remote learning.

Nearly half (46%) have called their child's school to see if their school-issued computer is protected on their personal Wi-Fi and 44% have called to inquire about if this device still has the necessary web filters they have on school Wi-Fi.

With all of these concerns, 62% of all parents surveyed feel like they're always talking to their child about online safety, but never seem to get through to them.

"Kids these days are very tech savvy and the results found that the average parent has learned seven new tech tips from their kids while they've been learning remotely," Thomas said. "Parents need to be proactive and make sure they educate their children about online safety. It's also a good idea to avoid keeping devices in kids' bedrooms at night, however, the results show that 91% of parents do allow this. A common denominator among many kids who were victimized online was that they kept their digital devices overnight in their bedrooms."