Struggle to get kids to ‘unplug’

Picture: PA
Picture: PA
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Convincing children to ‘unplug’ and switch off computer screens, phones or televisions, is more challenging than getting them to go to bed or do their homework, a new survey suggests.

Almost a third of parents in Yorkshire, 29 per cent, have trouble controlling the amount of time their son or daughter spends watching television or playing on computers, tablets and phones, according to the charity Action for Children.

In comparison, 16 per cent struggled to get them to bed at night and 22 per cent admitted having difficulty encouraging them to get out of bed and get ready in the morning.

Nationally, just one in ten parents said they found it difficult to get their youngsters to do their homework.

John Egan, director of children services at Action for Children, said: “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 children’s charity has published a series of tips to help parents to get their children to “unplug”, including planning family activities that do not include technology, recreating favourite childhood games and trips to the park or sports matches.