Parents tackle boredom with tablets
The Easter holidays are almost here, and parents across the UK are drawing up battle plans with one another with the aim of answering that all-essential question – how to keep the kids quiet over a two, three or four hour trip?
A recent warm spell means that traffic jams are likely to be worse than ever this year, and new research indicates many mums and dads are contemplating drastic tactics in order to entertain the children in a hot car.
Researchers for Disney found that 80 per cent of a 5,000-strong sample pool confessed they will be handing the young ones an iPad or equivalent – usually loaded with games and activities – in order to stifle the boredom.
Around half of those questioned said they could expect more than an hour’s peace and quiet with this clever technique, but while parents will be celebrating the ease at which they can do such a thing, not everyone is happy with the trend.
The Association of Teachers and Lecturers claims it has seen signs of older children being unable to carry out traditional pen-and-paper exams because of overexposure to screens – a rather scary prospect indeed.
Similarly, a casual glance towards Youtube reveals plenty of videos showing toddlers who are confused when a magazine they’ve just ‘swiped’ remains inanimate, as they are so used to touchscreen technology.
But this doesn’t change the fact that two thirds of children now request to play on tablets and smartphones while travelling, according to Disney’s survey, compared to only 50 per cent who ask for sweets and snacks.
Maybe it might be better to ignore those requests in favour of a good game of Pictionary or I Spy in the car this year.