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We all know that we probably use our mobile phones a little too much, but are we really using them so much that it’s to the detriment of our children?

Mobile phones are gaining an increasing share in the battle for parental attention, with a third of Aussie children (32 per cent), surveyed for a recent study, saying their parents spent equal or less time with them than on their devices. The research, conducted by AVG® Technologies, examined children’s perceptions of their parents’ mobile device use, and uncovered some worrying trends. The global study of 6,117 covered 335 Australian adults and 302 children.

Hinting at ongoing digital intrusion upon family life, just over half of the children questioned felt that their parents checked their devices too often (52 percent); and their    biggest grievance, when given a list of possible bad device habits, was that their parents allowed themselves to be distracted by their device during conversations (37 percent) – something that made a quarter of the complainants feel unimportant (26 percent).

When asked about their device use, half of all parents agreed that it was too frequent (54 percent), and many also worried about how this looked to the younger generation. Almost a third (32 percent) felt that they didn’t set a good example for their children with their device use.

“With our kids picking up mobile devices at an increasingly younger age, it is really important that we set good habits within the home, early on,” said Michael McKinnon, Security Awareness Director at AVG Technologies. “Children take their cues from us for everything else, so it is only natural that they should do the same with device use. It can be hard to step away from your device at home, but with a quarter of parents telling us that they wished their child used their device less (26 percent) they need to lead by example and consider how their behaviour might be making their child feel.”

In a country by country comparison, Brazilian parents topped the survey for device use, with 87 percent of children stating their parents used mobile devices too much. More worryingly, 59 percent of Brazilian parents admitted to using the phone while driving – interestingly, 56 percent of children in Brazil also said they would confiscate a parent’s device, if they could (39 per cent in Australia).

What do you think? SHARE your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Main image courtesy of Shutterstock.com
  • We need to try and use them in moderation.

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  • Unfortunately this article is very true and I am a culprit :( definitely need to cut back on my use around the kids :(

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  • from what I observe and experience in my own family I definetly believe mobile phones are having preference over our interactions with our children and grandchildren. the govt. is starting to recognize this as a problem between teens and parents with their current advertising which shows everyone putting away their phones and tech. to enjoy the evening meal with the family and interact without distractions that mobile phones bring.lets hope their will be more awareness of this in the future

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  • Yes it is a nice reality check for us parents!

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  • I think so. Technology is taking over, we’re forgetting how to communicate one on one face to face with people

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  • Need to show this to hubby- his mobile phone use drives me nuts!!

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  • What a disappointing trend that we are giving away family time for phone use

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  • i think that kids should not use mobile phones or use very little

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  • i rekon mobile phones arnt good for the kids

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  • Nice reality check for us parents

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  • exellent

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  • wonderful

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  • this is great

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  • Guilty!!!!!!!! I am forever on my phone, checking emails, checking facebook, checking recipes, sales etc etc and my Daughter just tells me Put your phone down mum and about 80% of the time I listen and they get my attention.I get lost in my Technology but I also know now when to listen to my child.

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  • We both use our mobile phones for work so we’re obviously with us a lot of the time. However, we’re not so attached that our son fights for our attention. My hubby will often go out and leave his phone at home (to my frustration when I need to get him!!). I only check my phone after work hours if it rings with a text message. Otherwise, I think we’re okay. I have to fight for my son’s attention from his I-devices.

    Reply

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