Sitters, the nation’s favourite babysitting agency, have conducted a survey of 1,000 UK parents with children aged between 2 and 10 years old to identify the truth about smart device usage. However, there are huge national disparities. In London, 41% of parents don’t allow smart device usage. On other parts of the country, over 90% of parents do.
Given that overall, 76% of parents do allow smart device usage; this brings out the benefits that the technology can bring such as educational boosts and relaxation for both children and adults. However, parent’s concerns regarding smart device use are very real including concerns regarding eye damage, social isolation, and prone to inappropriate content and communications. The majority of parents (53%) feel guilty about their child’s smart device use.
A staggering 70% of parents believe smart devices are addictive, but they consider that a tablet or smartphone is the necessary evil the children will have to be familiar with. The Sitters report focuses on the truth revealed by the survey: that parents are far from alone allowing their young child to use a smart device.
The report goes on to advise parents who may be struggling in this area on how to allow a child to use a smart device appropriately to reap the true benefits of this technology.
Emma Tindall at Sitters states: “The survey results are fascinating. Parents often feel guilty about smart device usage. In this instance, we are able to demonstrate that smart device use by young children can be immensely positive if appropriate boundaries are in place, such as clear expectations, time limits and parental monitoring.”
Emma also reassures parents who allow their child to use a smart device so that they get downtime or life tasks completed by saying: “It’s about seeing the pattern. If you’re using a smart device in this way, you need to recognise you have other options. Trading childcare with friends, calling in the grandparents, booking clubs or even getting a daytime babysitter can help you find the time you need in a busy life.”