Almost half of children addicted to technology

Our kids are addicted to smartphones and tablets, and we are to blame, a new survey suggests.

According to a survey by the consultancy firm ComRes for Channel 4 News, 63 per cent of parents admitted to “iParenting” – giving kids technology when they’re too tired or busy, The Telegraph wrote in a report.

The poll of 1,056 parents with children under 18 found that 59 per cent use the devices as punishment or reward. The result is that 47 per cent of mums and dads said their children spend too much time in front of their screens, while 43 per cent said this was akin to emotional dependency.

Over half of parents are worried their children will be exposed to sexual content online, while 52 per cent said they feared their kids would meet strangers online.

Professor Sonia Livingstone from the London School of Economics said parents were unsure who to turn to for guidance on the issue, the Daily Mail reported.

“It feels to me a bit like with the internet, we’ve given our kids the tools but we haven’t given them a map,” she said.

She believes parents should have a better understanding of the internet, and use that knowledge to teach their children to keep safe while browsing.

“Parents who understand the internet better and can advise their children better on how to make those judgments on what’s safe, what’s not safe, what’s interesting, what’s less exciting and so on, will have children who feel more confident and more skilled and better able to make judgments.”