Two-thirds of mums and dads say their children have become slaves to the screen, constantly online.
A quarter admit to regular arguments about turning off consoles just to get them to interact and do their real-world homework.
And 54% of parents would like to control online time by having the ability to pause and schedule their home wi-fi unit for a more balanced family lifestyle.
The study, by BT Whole Home Wi-Fi, found 72% of parents with children aged 7-18 claim that when their child is doing homework they look on the internet for the answer, and 50% of parents think it takes their kids longer to finish as they get distracted by things like PlayStation and Xbox consoles.
When it comes to turning off devices at bedtime 25% of parents acknowledge regularly arguing with children.
Only 48% of children will come off the internet when their parents ask and 33% of 10-16 year old children say they’ve turned off their devices at bedtime when they haven’t.
Bruce Cuthbert, Director of BT Devices, said: “There are so many benefits for our children online, and an equal number of distractions.
“With kids back in school and autumn upon us, we’re spending more time indoors and the temptation is for kids to spend more time online.
“With Whole Home Wi-Fi, parents can pause and schedule connectivity in the home by device to help children focus during study time and improve their sleep, finding the right balance of online and offline time for the whole family.”
Nearly half of parents asked (47%) have admitted that the use of technology and being online means they don’t spend as much time with their children as they would like to.
In addition, the new research showed that children’s favourite thing to do with free time is to go online, with 82% of 14 year olds choosing to go on YouTube.
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.
“Combined with open discussions with children about being online, tools like Whole Home Wi-Fi that allow families to schedule their connectivity can be hugely helpful for parents trying to create a healthier balance of screen time versus family time.
“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
- Agree a routine and appropriate length of time children can be online
- Put in place a family agreement to set the boundaries – don’t break them!
- Use technology and apps like BT’s Whole Home Wi-Fi to manage screen time and Wi-Fi access, especially at bedtimes
- Talk together about the time you spend online
- Get the whole family to unplug and create ‘screen free zones’
- Set a good example with your own device use