Parents and children come to blows over internet use on holiday

A study of 2,000 parents across the UK has found that a majority are concerned by their children’s Internet use during the summer and that it will cause conflict during family holidays. The survey also reveals the solutions parents are opting to cope with the stress of their children using the internet during the summer.

The study, released by Stop Procrastinating, the productivity website, has found that parents are also concerned by their inability to block their children’s access to the Internet during the summer.

The full survey results are:

  • 68% worried their children use the Internet for too long during the summer holidays.
  • 52% said their children were less active because used social media instead of playing with friends.
  • 48% worried their children didn’t seek out sociable activities during the summer.
  • 62% said their children’s use of smart devices would cause conflict and stress during their family holiday.
  • 56% said that their children read less over the summer than they did when they were children. They blamed the Internet.
  • 54% thought smart devices were affecting their children’s development and health.
  • 46% blamed themselves for using smart devices in front of their children.
  • 43% felt they should encourage more family conversation to balance the affect of the Internet.
  • 65% said it was too easy to keep their children quiet by distracting them with the Internet when they were busy.
  • 78% thought, however, that their children should access the Internet but that it should be controlled or supervised.
  • 49% said that their children were more likely to be successful if they were proficient at computers and coding.

Parents looked for solutions to balance their children’s use of the Internet rather than ban it completely:

  • 72% said their children should only use the Internet for one hour a day.
  • 52% said they should talk more during family meals and smart devices should be banned.
  • 56% said they would encourage their children to join a sociable activity or club for the summer.
  • 32% were thinking about leaving all smart devices at home during their summer vacation or holidays.

Tim Rollins, Research Director at Stop Procrastinating, said: “Summer is meant to be a time of freedom and play for many children. Without school to keep them indoors, they should be taking part in sociable and meaningful activities, but instead the Internet is keeping them indoors.

“Parents may be seeking to avoid conflict by giving in to their children’s demands to use the internet, but the study also shows that when boundaries are set and other sociable activities are encouraged their children’s use of the internet become healthy and balanced.”

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