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How much quality time do you spend with your kid?

86% of mums feel technology has an impact on quality time with their kids. Should we embrace ‘techtime’ within our everyday routines like ‘storytime’ and ‘bathtime’?

Mums are dissatisfied with the amount of quality time they have with their ‘Digital Native’ kids, identifying technology as a barrier.

60%  say that it’s work or housework that impacts on their ability to share positive moments.

When mums were asked if they agreed with the statement, ‘Do you feel technology has had an impact on the quality time you spend with your children?’, 86% agreed, with 30.6% strongly agreeing.

One in four mums felt that their kids prefer to spend time playing computer games and consoles. In fact, 51% of mums feel that these devices can take their kids away from shared family time.

“Quality time is not about planning something extraordinary, it’s about everyday activities which are transformed by the intensity with which they are experienced. I don’t believe you can set aside half an hour and make it quality time aPat Spungin

Things are more positive with younger mums, where 54% of those questioned aged 16-24, view playing computer games with their kids as spending quality time together, compared to 28% of mums over 55 who said the same thing.

Pat Spungin, child psychologist, founder of parenting website raisingkids.co.uk and author of four books on family life.comments,

“Mums need to harness the positive energy of technology and stop seeing it as a barrier to time with their children and instead see it as an opportunity.

Why can’t we embrace ‘techtime’ within our everyday routines like ‘storytime’ and ‘bathtime’?”

She continues, “The void between mums, children and technology is due to the speed in innovation which has meant that mums haven’t been able to keep up with their kids and feel on the edge of a new world that they don’t feel they belong to”.

“Mums simply need to start interacting more with the technology and devices kids are already using (such as gaming consoles, tablets and the internet) in a natural and managed way. This does not have to be an extreme shift”.

To to help mums in their challenge to embrace technology, in order to create positive moments and enjoy more quality time, here are some tactics and advice from Pat Spungin.

Top Tips for Creating Positive Moments via Technology:

  • Don’t leave the room when your kids go to play their latest video game – if it’s a shared play game then join in. Ask for advice and tips on how to improve and challenge them to competitions
  • Consoles like Nintendo Wii, Playstation Move and Xbox Kinect are great for shared play – set family challenges or take on your kids at different sports. As well as creating shared time together, they help everyone have fun and keep fit
  • Avoid having a TV in a kid’s bedroom – make TV watching a shared family activity and encourage debate and discussion around favourite shows
  • When your children ask a question about their homework, spend time surfing the net for the answer together. Let their curiosity take over and suggest other things you could look up and learn together
  • If you feel your child is always using social media then think about ways you can turn it into shared activity. Why not set up a Facebook fan site page about a shared interest or have fun running your own farm on Farmville together?
  • Find a communal area to have your family computer. That way your kids aren’t isolated and you can encourage them to talk to you and ask questions as they surf or do their homework
  • Check out your local library for any technology training schemes they might have, or events for you and your child
  • Make the most of your kid’s smart phone camera or video recorder and challenge them to create a visual diary of life in your house – help direct or star in it and then post it up on Bebo or YouTube
  • Use Skype together to connect with relatives and friends. Set up regular ‘calls’ as a chance to bring the family closer together and share news. It’s also a great way to save money

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