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Parents Spend More Time on Phones Than With Kids

Photo courtesy of Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash

Parents Spend More Time on Phones Than With Kids

By Movieguide® Contributor

While many parents set screen limits and restrictions for their children, a recent study found that parents are guilty of spending more time on their phones than building relationships with their kids.

A survey managed by OnePoll and commissioned by Campspot revealed that parents spend an average of five hours a day on their phones and less than four hours a day with their children.

“Three out of five American parents admit that they spend more time on their electronic devices than their kids do,” Study Finds reported.

Most parents (80%) own three or more electronic devices. Their kids (81%) own a minimum of two devices. Only two percent of children own no devices.   

However, parents recognize that the significant presence of technology is problematic, not only for their children but also for them.

According to the survey, “more than half of U.S. parents (60%) are seeking ways to escape technology and reconnect with their kids. With nearly eight in 10 (79%) of parents claiming their experiences with their children are more memorable without the presence of electronic devices, it’s no surprise that most (52%) parents have attempted to limit technology usage within their households.”

Just as parents set screen time limits for their children, they should do the same for themselves. Parents are encouraged to play outdoors more and even create device-free areas in their homes.

Chief marketing officer at Campspot Erin Stender said, “Summer is the perfect time to unplug and reconnect with what truly matters—our families. We know the power of stepping away from screens and immersing ourselves in nature, since it’s often in these moments that we create the strongest family bonds.”

“A vast majority of parents agree that outdoor adventures promote communication (60%) and forge enduring memories (57%),” Earth.com reported.

“Camping in particular offers a unique opportunity for families to experience new adventures together, fostering not only a love for the outdoors but also nurturing children’s self-development,” Stender continued.

“By spending quality time without electronic devices, we give ourselves the gift of undivided attention, fostering deeper connections and meaningful conversations that become the foundation of lasting memories,” he added.

Movieguide® recently reported on screen time limits among children:

A new study from Canadian researchers found that extended screen time among school-aged children places them at a higher risk for developing anxiety and depression. 

The study was conducted over 2021 and 2020 as screen times jumped drastically across the world. In Canada, the average screen usage among children rose from 2.6 hours pre-COVID to 5.9 hours during the initial weeks of the lockdown. The United States saw a similar trend. By the time the study was conducted, the average screen time of children hovered around 4 hours across the year-long research period; roughly double the 2-hour max recommended by most healthcare professionals. 

Previous studies had found that high levels of screen time were correlated with impaired social skills, behavioral issues, and fatigue among children. This study continued the research into the effect that high exposure to screens has on children. It was especially interested in the correlation between screen time and depression and anxiety as these have skyrocketed in school-aged children since the pandemic, with an estimated 20-25% of children affected. 

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