The dilemmas of parental mediation: Continuities from parenting in general

María Cruz López de Ayala López, Leslie Haddon, Beatriz Catalina-García, Esther Martínez-Pastor


This article examines how much parent-child interactions around the online world reflect broader, more long-standing parent-child relations and parenting dilemmas. It does so through exploring the meanings that parents give to their parenting practices and the beliefs that underlie parental mediation of their children's online activities as well as the reasons for any differences between their broader normative approach to parental mediation and their actual practices. Qualitative in-depth interviews conducted with 26 Spanish parents of children aged 9 to 16-years-old found that many parents favoured the managed progression of children towards more autonomy and gave reasons why it was important to trust older children. However, the analysis explores a range of dilemmas parents experience when trying to implement these ideals, where issues of privacy, trust and managing that progression all proved to be problematic.


Parental mediation; Ethnotheories; Privacy; Trust; Internet.

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