Children Know More about Computers than Riding a Bike
Article by George Norman
On 20 Jan 2011
Small children learn technical skills and master computer games before they learn life skills like riding a bike or swimming, says AVG Technologies, company that specializes in providing antivirus and internet security protection to home and business users, in a study called “Digital Diaries”.

In the study AVG polled 2,200 mothers with Internet access and with children aged 2-5 in the U.S., Canada, U.K., France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. The goal of AVG’s study was to find out how children's interaction with technology has changed. The study achieved this goal by giving the mothers a list of tech skills and a list of life skills and then asking them which skills their little ones had mastered. Here’s what the study found:


Computer games trump riding a bike
58% of children aged 2 to 5 and 44% of children aged 2 to 3 know how to play a basic computer game, but only 43% of children aged 2 to 3 now how to ride a bike.

Smartphone apps trump knowing how to tie your shoelaces
19% of children aged 2 to 5 know how to play with a smartphone application while only 9% of children aged 2 to 5 know how to tie their shoelaces.
17% of children aged 2 to 3 and 21% of children aged 4 to 5 know how to play with a smartphone application.

Web browsers trump swimming
25% of the children who took part in the study know how to use a web browser; only 20% know how to swim unaided.

It doesn’t matter if your little one is a boy or a girl
The study showed that regardless if your little one is a boy or a girl, chances are he or she will master technical skills before life skills. According to AVG, 28% of the boys and 29% of the girls know how to make a mobile phone call and 58% of boys and 59% of girls can play a computer game.

Older mothers are better at teaching their children like skills
The study found that mothers aged 35 or older are better at teaching life skills to their children. 40% of children with a 35-years old or older mother knew how to write their own name, while only 35% of children with a 34-years old or younger mother knew how to do that.

Europe trumps the US

44% of children aged 2 to 5 from Italy know how to make a mobile phone call, compared to 25% of children aged 2 to 5 from the US.
70% of UK children know how to play a computer game, compared to 61% of US children.
78% of children in France know how use a mouse, compared to 67% of children in the US.

AVG CEO, J.R. Smith provided this comment: “Technology has changed what it means to be a parent raising children today – these children are growing up in an environment that would be unrecognizable to their parents. The smart-phone and the computer are increasingly taking the place of the TV as an education and entertainment tool for children,”. “As our research shows, parents need to start educating kids about navigating the online world safely at an earlier age than they might otherwise have thought.”

Tags: AVG, Study, Children
About the author: George Norman
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