New research has found more and more people in the UK are watching TV by themselves.
We are a nation of television lovers, able to enjoy a host of shows whenever we want to watch them. However, has this technological rise in convenience come at a cost? Do families now spend too much time apart? Is there such a thing as ‘too much TV’?It’s been found that 65% of eight to eleven year olds in Britain are owners of a smartphone, this means they have access to a never ending stream of programming and are less likely to sit with their families if they are watching a show which doesn’t immediately grab their attention.
Too Much TV?
So what do the TV habits of modern Britain look like? As part of their Bringing the Summer Home campaign, AO.com asked more than 1,200 people across the UK a series of questions about their TV habits, and they revealed some very interesting facts, such as:
- The average person in the UK watches 61 hours of TV a week
- Drama is the most popular TV genre in UK households, with the average household watching 5 hours of Drama a week
- 8% of parents don’t watch any television with their children
- 9% of parents regularly watch over 7 hours of television a week with their children
- 6% of UK households were most looking forward to watching Rio 2016 this summer
- Chat shows were the least popular genre in UK households, with the average UK household watching only 3 hours of this programming a week.
- 7% of UK families wouldn’t invite others over to their house to watch any events on television
- However, 4% would invite people round if it was a live sporting event
It’s no secret that there are massive benefits to be had from children spending time with their families. Whilst this family time is ideally spent outside, playing games and enjoying the sunshine, quality time watching films and television programmes together most certainly has its place.
Of course, too much TV can be bad for your child. So how can you hit that sweet spot between a healthy amount of family interaction and an unhealthy TV habit?
Tips to help you monitor your children’s screen time
- Set limits – Let your child know how much time TV they can watch a day. One or two is fine, anything after that and the screen gets turned off! This will help them grow accustomed to finding other activities to occupy themselves and help them form a healthy relationship with the small screen. Make sure they know that too much TV is not good for them.
- Be honest – We’ve all heard the “square eyes” comment, and whilst that might work with younger children, an honest discussion about why they should step away from the screen will be more effective as your child matures.
- Keep the TV in the living room – This means no TV in their bedrooms. This makes it difficult to monitor their usage. This also helps control what they can and can’t see in terms of programming. A sneaky late night TV session from your child could introduce them to all sorts of adult material.
- Set parental controls – This is a must for owners of TV packages which contain hundreds of channels. There is no such thing as “past the watershed” on some digital channels and parental controls help control exactly what your child is exposed to.