Have you ever wished you could just banish smartphones altogether?
According to new research, one third of parents wish they could un-invent the smartphone to reduce the amount of time their children spend online.
The research reveals that 69% of parents also feel guilty about the amount of time their children spend in front of a screen. The average child spends more than eight hours a week on mobile phones, TVs, laptops and tablets – and 80% of parents admit to spending less than four hours a week with their children. Three quarters of parents believe that, as a result, today’s children are using their imaginations much less than previous generations and that this could be harming their social skills.
In response to the report, HONEST® Kids has partnered with environmental charity Groundwork and Julia Bradbury, former BBC Countryfile and now ITV’s Britain's Favourite Walks presenter, to create the ‘Thirst for the Great Outdoors’ Activity Guide to help inspire parents and children to spend quality time with each other.
The research also reveals that almost 7 out of 10 (68%) parents admit they have never played catch, I-spy (47%) or hide and seek (36%) with their children. Instead these games are being replaced by gadgets and may soon be lost to history with 73% of parents no longer playing conkers, marbles or even a game of ‘what’s the time Mr Wolf’ with today’s technology-obsessed youngsters.
Almost 8 out of 10 parents (78%) said they felt stressed trying to think of fun activities to keep kids entertained, which might explain why the average child now spends 69 minutes every day playing on a smartphone, games console or on the internet. This equates to more than eight hours per week or the equivalent of 17 entire days a year. Even the youngest children in the study (aged four to eight) were found to be spending 52 minutes a day glued to some form of screen.
We'd love to hear your thoughts on this story. How do you cap your child's screen time, and is this something you worry about as a parent? Leave us a comment here or come and join the conversation over on our Facebook page.