Digital Homework Distractions

Nearly two-thirds of parents (65%) say that their children struggle to concentrate on homework as they are constantly being distracted by social networks, messaging, online games, and other online services according to new research by BT Whole Home Wi-Fi.

Fifty three per cent of parents with children aged 7-18 across Scotland say that when their child is doing homework, they look on the internet for the answer, but 64 per cent of parents in Edinburgh, and 81 per cent in Glasgow believe it then takes their kids longer to finish as they then get distracted. Over half of parents (54%) wish their children would come to them with homework questions instead of using a search engine or voice assistant.When it comes to turning off devices at bedtime, a quarter of parents (25%) acknowledge regularly arguing with children and one third (33%) of 10 to 16-year-olds say they have turned off their devices at bedtime when they haven’t!In addition, the research showed that children’s favourite thing to do with free time is to go online, with 82 per cent of 14-year-olds choosing to go on YouTube. BT partners with non-for profit-organisation, Internet Matters, to share the latest online safety advice with even more parents and children across the UK through online information and guides.

Carolyn Bunting, CEO of Internet Matters said: “Whether it’s playing the latest game, or the constant pressure of feeling they need to respond to their friends’ messages, being connected can be a huge distraction for children. Children respond well to clear boundaries so having a routine of when they can go online, and when they can’t, helps prevent that common tug of war over the tablet or games console. Our top tips on creating a healthy home environment for screen time can guide parents in how to tackle some of the challenges they face.”

Internet Matters Top Tips for Parents

  1. Agree a routine and appropriate length of time children can be online.
  2. Put in place a family agreement to set the boundaries – don’t break them!
  3. Use technology and apps to manage screen time and Wi-Fi access, especially at bedtimes.
  4. Talk together about the time you spend online.
  5. Get the whole family to unplug and create ‘screen free zones’.
  6. Set a good example with your own device use.

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