A recent nationwide study*, conducted by Frankie & Benny’s, has found that 72% of children wish that their parents would spend more time talking to them and less time on their mobile phones.
The survey found some heartbreaking stats:
- 70% of children believe their parents enjoy more screen time than they do.
- 8% have tried to hide their parent’s handset to try and gain their attention.
- 15% said their parent’s phone addiction made them feel their parent prefer going on their phone rather than talking to them.
- 29% of children would like to take devices away during family movies or TV time.
- 24% would like devices taken away during holidays.
- 46% of children would like to take devices away during meal times.
- 56% of children didn’t think their parents really listen to them.
- 56% say that they’d like more conversations with their parents.
And then the stats on the parents are even worse:
- 77% of the parents polled, feel guilty about the time they spend on their phone.
- 67% admit their phone has become between them and their family.
- 70% feel they may be addicted to their phone.
- 17% say they’d find it hard to live without it.
- 47% of parents check their phone from habit.
- 35% say they check their phone from the force of habit when with their children.
- 35% say they check their phone mid-conversation with their partner.
- 26% of parents check their phone during meal times.
- 23% check their phone whilst their child is talking about their day.
- 7% of parents admit they look at their phone whilst driving with their children in the car.
- 67% of parents say their phone stops them having quality time with their family.
In a bid to get the nation to celebrate family time, Frankie & Benny’s will be asking all customers to hand over their devices from November 29th to 7th January.
For parents willing to place their phones in the ‘designated-no-phone-zone’ boxes sat on the table, Frankie & Benny’s will offer free meals for the children during the campaign.
The restaurant has become the first family restaurant to ban mobile devices at the dinner table.
Parenting expert Susan Atkins said:
“I am delighted to see Frankie & Benny’s are leading the way by banning screens at the table. We live in a busy, fast paced 24/7 digitally connected world, unless we consciously plan not to be, so I love the idea of families sitting together, eating and chatting together away from screens.
“Parents are role models in everything that they do and in everything that they say, so by managing their own screen time parents are teaching their kids by example about when and where technology use is appropriate.”
A spokesperson for Frankie and Benny’s, added:
“We looked at various ways we could encourage people to engage more at the dinner table, and we’ve found giving families the chance to part with their devices for a mere couple of hours is a great way to bring them closer and embrace family time.”
Whilst it’s disheartening to hear such high numbers of children feeling second best to their parent’s tablets & mobiles, it can only be a good thing for us to take a step back and assess our own use of technology.
It’s a huge step in the right direction when a national restaurant chain, such as Frankie & Benny’s, are seeking to tackle the issue head-on.
Frankie & Benny’s, we applaud you!
*survey conducted with 1500 parents & their children