Electronic screens are widely spread nowadays, so parents are trying to restrict their children from spending too much time on their smartphones. However, scientists believe that parents might not be the best role models because they spend more time than their children using the tablets, smartphones, laptops, and other electronic devices.
Researchers from the Northwestern University and the Common Sense Media Group have conducted an extensive survey during which they have discovered that parents spend over nine hours every day in front of a screen.
Also, out of this time, 7 hours and 43 minutes were not related to their jobs. The survey included roughly 1,800 parents with children between 8 and 18 years old. Specialists explain that parents are attracted by the same features of the online environment which usually attract children.
“In 24 hours, let’s say [parents] sleep eight hours, and work eight hours, and that leaves eight hours to shop for meals and be with their kids,” says psychologist Jim Taylor.
He further adds that although it seems impossible for parents to spend so much time in front a screen, the statistics cannot lie. As such, parents are not the role models they think they are. Taylor underlines that excessive screen time can have major detrimental effects on parents and children ranging from materialism to difficulties concentrating.
A previous study revealed that from 2005 to 2012, there was an increased number of accidental injuries in children which occurred because parents were distracted by smartphones or other devices.
This is another solid proof that adults cannot be considered role models when it comes to screen time. Nevertheless, many parents believe that technology has beneficial effects on schoolwork and education.
They emphasize that technology prepares their kids for the 21st-century jobs by acquiring a wide range of skills. More precisely, 78% of parents believe that they are role-models for their kids.
On the other hand, the researchers stress that it is surprising that parents think so high of themselves considering the fact that they spend an average of 9 hours on their smartphones and laptops, instead of focusing on their children’s education.
As such, the experts believe there is a common misconception among parents related to what means to be a great role model.
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