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Parents Concerned About Children’s Social Lives, Survey Says

July 9, 2020 9:55 AM | The Canadian Press

By The Canadian Press

Niagara Falls

Families walk along the promenade in front of Niagara Falls, in Niagara Falls, Ont., May 16, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Giordano Ciampini)

A crowdsourced survey of Canadian parents finds that nearly three-quarters of respondents are concerned about their children’s social lives during the pandemic.

Statistics Canada published a report Thursday about the impact of COVID-19 on children and families.

Unlike most of the agency’s studies, the survey wasn’t randomly sampled and therefore isn’t statistically representative of the Canadian population.

The responses suggest that 71 per cent of parents who filled out the online questionnaire were very or extremely concerned about their children’s opportunities to socialize with friends, and more than half were very or extremely worried about their kids being lonely or socially isolated.

Participants’ top concern for their families was balancing the demands of childcare, school and work, while nearly two-thirds of parents were very or extremely concerned about managing their children’s behaviours, anxiety and emotion.

Excessive screen time was also a chief concern among participants, with nine in 10 reporting that their children use devices daily or almost daily.

More than 32,000 participants volunteered their responses to the online questionnaire between June 9 and June 22. Statistics Canada says a large proportion of participants were women who were born in Canada and had a bachelor’s degree or higher.

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