LONDON — If you thought you were spending less time with your kids, just wait until you’re shopping online, according to an article published in the British Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.
The article, titled ‘The Rise of Online Shopping Is Good for Your Kids’, was written by Dr. Amy Latham, an associate professor of dermatology at the University of Leicester.
Latham has researched the impact of the internet on children’s well-being and was inspired to write this article by her own experience with online shopping.
“There’s an increasing body of evidence showing that children are spending less and less time online, and I think it’s important to understand how online shopping is impacting their wellbeing,” she told RTE.
“[It] is a really powerful tool to help kids with the issues that they have.”
Latham said the rise in online shopping has helped children cope with the emotional stress of their experiences.
“They can go to the store, get a gift or find something that’s special for them and be able to feel comfortable with that and to feel like they can get something from it,” she said.
She said that while children tend to be happy online, they’re not always so happy with their purchases.
“For some of them, that can be a very negative thing and so it’s really important that they can buy online because if they’re buying online, that means they’re less likely to get a bad experience,” she explained.
According to Latham the online shopping experience is a huge factor in children’s wellbeing.
There is a link between the online and offline purchases, she said, and children who can afford online purchases are more likely to buy and feel more confident.
Listed online stores can help kids avoid purchasing things that they might not want to buy.
“If they can’t afford to buy something online, there’s a lot of things that can help them find something in a store that they like,” she added.
But the biggest benefit of online purchases, according Latham is the social impact.
“It’s about making sure that you are doing what you want to do, and making sure people are not getting hurt by what you’re doing,” she stressed.
Dr. Amy is not the only one to see the online purchasing phenomenon as a positive for children.
A survey conducted by the Childline charity found that 90% of adults say that the online purchase is good for children and the research has also shown that parents are spending more time online.
So what does this mean for kids?
Well, Latham said that parents can also help their kids by using social media to connect with each other.
“We’re really looking at this now with the social networks and how we can use these things to connect kids with other parents,” she remarked.
“This is about being open to people and sharing your child’s life with them so that they are able to do what they want to be doing and have fun and be their best selves.”