Some children think parents' addiction to their phones is harming family life 1 year ago

Some children think parents' addiction to their phones is harming family life

To say that smartphones and tablets have become an important part of modern life is almost an understatement.

And we are all guilty of the constant fiddling with our phones, be it to check e-mails, scroll through social media feeds, play games or even watch movies.

The problem? It is doing some serious damage to our family lives.

According to a recent survey of secondary school children, more than two-thirds of the 2000 11-18-year-olds that we polled said it had gotten so bad that they had ended up asking their parents to stop checking their devices.

14 percent of them said their parents were even online at mealtime – even if 82 percent of the asked teens felt meal should be device-free.

The research, which was carried out by Digital Awareness UK and the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference, also revealed that 22 percent of children admitted that the use of mobiles stopped their families enjoying each other's company and that 36 percent felt they were always asking their parents to put their phones down.

Of the pupils who had asked their parents to put down their phones, 46 percent said their parents took no notice of the request, while 44 percent felt upset and ignored when asking this from their parents.

Interestingly, the study also revealed that only 10 percent of parents believed their mobile use was a concern for their children - although 43 percent said they did feel they spent too much of their own time online.

Mike Buchanan, headmaster of Ashford School in Kent said to the BBC it was time for parents, teachers and pupils "to rewrite the rulebook" on mobile devices, which "have become an integral part of life at school, work and play".

"Our poll shows that children are aware of many of the risks associated with overuse of technology but they need the adults in their lives to set clear boundaries and role model sensible behaviour. To achieve this, we need to join up the dots between school and home and give consistent advice."