Parents are paying their children to stop them staring at their screens

Parents are paying their children to stay off their tablets [Photo: Getty]
Parents are paying their children to stay off their tablets [Photo: Getty]

How much screen time children should be having is a contentious issue. But, some
parents are turning to drastic measures to get their kids to stop looking at their phones and tablets, with a quarter actually paying theirs to stop.

It isn’t just stepping away from the screen parents are forking out for: according to a new survey some are also ‘bribing’ their children to go to bed and do their homework.

The research, by Halifax, polled 500 parents and found that 23% of parents paid children aged eight to 15 pocket money to get them off their screens.

As well as steering their offspring away from tech, one in five (20%) frazzled parents have used pocket money as a way of getting their child to bed, and one in six (15%) on making homework more appealing.

READ MORE: How to tell if your child’s screen time is a problem

Nearly 60% of parents are also stumping up cash to pay children for chores such as tidying their bedroom, cleaning or washing up - despite more than half (53%) believing their kids should be helping out regardless.

But, if the work is not up to scratch, three in 10 (30%) parents would be willing to withhold payment.

According to the poll, children receive £7.71 per week in pocket money, up from £7.01 in 2018.

In terms of how they’re spending their cash, the bank found 42% of children are indulging their sweet tooth by stocking up on the sugary stuff, while almost a third (31%) are ploughing their pocket money into gaming and 30% are buying toys.

Despite enjoying spending their money, more than 90% of savvy parents claim to encourage their children to save their money while half let their children download apps, or spend on music or film and TV streaming services.

Parents are also forking out for children to do their homework and go to bed [Photo: Getty]
Parents are also forking out for children to do their homework and go to bed [Photo: Getty]

Is screen time damaging?

There have been some conflicting opinions about the impact of screen time on children’s health and wellbeing and how much screen time is too much.

Earlier this year, parents were told to worry less about the effects of screen time as there is little evidence that it’s harmful to children.

Instead, new guidance from leading paediatricians suggests that parents should run through a checklist to monitor the impact screen time is having on their children.

But back in September new research has proven that more than two hours of recreational screen time a day could seriously affect a child’s learning.

READ MORE: Smartphones are giving two-year-olds mental health problems, study finds

The subject of pocket money has also recently made headlines after it was revealed that parents are opting to give their children allowances and pocket money rather than encouraging them to find Saturday jobs.

The joint biggest reason youngsters cited for not taking a part-time job is because they get an allowance or income elsewhere such as pocket money, with 44% of non-workers relying on handouts from parents.