Survey finds children are reluctant to switch off devices

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12th January 2016 10:28 - Telecommunications

A recent poll by the charity, Action for Children, has revealed that children are reluctant to turn off their mobile phones, TVs and laptops, with Survey finds children are reluctant to switch off devicesparents finding it easier to get their child to do their homework, have a bath or go to bed than switch off their device.

The charity’s survey revealed that 23.1 per cent of mums and dads find controlling their child’s screen time difficult, whereas just 10 per cent said that making them do their homework was tough, and 17.5 per cent said the same of getting their children out of bed in the morning. As well as this, 5 per cent said that they find making their children have a bath is difficult.

Action for Children has issued a list of hints and tips to help parents and guardians decrease the amount of time their children spend in front of the TV and using devices.

The tips are:

  • Plan activities for the whole families that do not revolve around technology
  • Create a schedule every week which reflects the idea that 1 hour of screen time should equal 1 hour of non-technology related activity
  • Play the child’s favourite childhood games with them
  • Parents should switch off their devices when their children need to have some device-less time.

Managing Director of Operations at Action for Children, Carol Iddon, said of the research findings:

"Technology is an often necessary part of the lives of children and parents alike, but it's important to maintain a balance with other activities and quality family time.

"We know from our extensive work with families that strong relationships with parents build resilience in children, making them less susceptible to bullying or abuse outside the home, and encouraging them to speak to their parents about any fears or concerns.

"As well as the conscious effort to cut down on screen time, some parents benefit from additional support, such as dropping in for a chat or attending support groups at children's centres, to learn how to better connect with their children."

The results of the survey were released at a time where there are rising concerns surrounding how much time youngsters spend watching TV or online.

A separate study by Cambridge University found a correlation between 1 extra hour of internet, TV or computer games in Year 10 pupils and poor GCSE results.

When assessing the activities of 14 year olds and their GCSE attainment, researchers from Cambridge University discovered that those who spend 1 more hour per day in front of a screen saw a drop in results, equivalent to two grades.

Other researchers suggested that some school pupils may come into school tired after spending time on devices or in front of the TV at night time.

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