Parents let themselves get ‘distracted’ by mobile phones instead of spending quality time with their children, Education Secretary warns
- Damian Hinds wrote in the Daily Telegraph that parents should use phones less
- He argued they limit childrens’ phone usage but rarely challenge their own
- Hinds also said phones should not take priority over spending time together
Parents often allow mobile phones to ‘distract’ themselves from their children and should impose screen time limits on themselves, the Education Secretary has said.
Damian Hinds told the Daily Telegraph that parents should not to allow the use of digital devices such as smartphones and tablets to take priority over spending quality time with their children.
He said it was often easier to enforce screen time limits on children, but it was more difficult for parents to reduce their device usage, criticising prams that come with mobile phone holders.
Education Secretary Damian Hinds wrote in the Daily Telegraph that mobile phones are getting in the way of family relationships
‘Today we see prams with mobile phone holders attached. You can go to a café and see Mum, Dad and children all on their phones, not talking to each other,’ he wrote in The Daily Telegraph.
‘The truth is we can be too busy finding out what’s going on miles away to pay attention to the people right in front of us.’
He admitted to getting distracted by his phone when spending time with his family, revealing he had cut down on his screen time over Christmas.
‘The precious time I put aside to eat with my family, or play with my kids, too often my phone is also there with us and is a distraction.
‘Over Christmas, when I put the phone away, I really noticed the difference’, he said.
He argued that it is often easier to enforce screen time limits on children, but it is more difficult for parents to reduce their device usage
While acknowledging technology could be beneficial for children if used for educational games, he warned against allowing them to access the ‘junk food’ of the internet.
‘Instead of accessing the nourishing content, kids will choose to access the “junk food” of the internet world – and the more time they spend glued to latest game on their phone, then the less likely they are to be getting outside for fresh air and exercise.’
Mr Hind’s comments come after the Department of Education last week published a checklist of wholesome pursuits primary school children should try over spending hours on their devices.
Examples included climbing a tree, planting flowers or flying a kite.