Over half of parents in Britain log on to social networking websites like Facebook only to find out what their children are upto, a study has revealed.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed nearly 55 percent of parents thought of snooping around on their children's profiles to see what they are up to.
They did it to avoid having 'awkward conversations' with the children but nearly a quarter admitted it was the only way they could find out about their lives, the Daily Mail reports.
Some 41 percent monitor their children's status updates and 39 percent look at their 'wall', which is where they and friends can write things.
Just under one third, 29 percent, looked at pictures their children had uploaded.
When asked why they behaved like this, six percent of parents blamed their 'overprotective' instincts and 14 percent admitted they were just being 'nosey'.
The research showed that around 20 percent of parents even log on with a friend's account to avoid detection and gain better access to their children's profiles.
The rise of parents spying on their children has spawned a fightback on Facebook.
A string of groups have sprung up with names like 'For the love of god-don't let parents join Facebook', which has more than 7,700 members.