Parents usually worry over how much time their kids love to spend on their smartphones or in front of the TV, but moms and dads are just as prone to too much screen time, as a new survey has discovered.
The survey, which was conducted by the company OnePoll on behalf of The Genius of Play, looked at the screen habits of 2,000 parents of children between five and 18 years old. It also evaluated their children’s relationships with their devices.
On average, the respondents were found to spend at least two hours and 17 minutes on their phones, compared to two hours and 41 minutes of quality time with their kids. In other words, according to the survey, moms and dads only spend 24 minutes more with their children than on their smartphones.
69% of the parents surveyed said that they consider themselves “addicted” to their phones, while 62% said that they feel they spend too much time on their devices while they’re with their children.
The findings also indicate that screens have become “an integral parenting tool” for 83% of the parents who participated, The New York Post reports. Many also said that they routinely use screens to keep their kids occupied (58%), as a reward for good behavior (53%), or to calm them down when they’re upset (52%).
Meanwhile, 63% of respondents shared that they would also take away their kids’ devices as a consequence.
While screens can be helpful at times, excessive screen time can be bad, not just for children but also for parents. For instance, it can take away from time a parent could be spending doing bonding activities with their families.
“Whether you have a two-year-old or a 14-year-old, it is important that all children experience various forms of play to stimulate their growing bodies and minds,” Ken Seiter, EVP for Marketing Communications at The Toy Association, the organization that directs The Genius of Play, told The New York Post.
“Of course, playing on devices can make up some of that playtime, but parents should be mindful of the balance.”
Seiter also stressed that parents can influence their children’s screen habits by being mindful of how much time they spend on their phones.
“Parents often complain that it is hard to get kids to put down their devices, but they can set a positive example for children by swapping some of their own screen time for other types of play,” Seiter shared.
When parents spend too much time on their phones, kids can end up feeling unimportant. Click here to learn more.