Kids think their parents spend too much time using their gadgets, so is technology taking over family life?


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Getting kids to put down their smart phones and games consoles has become a standard part of family life along with making them their clean their rooms and do their homework.

  • Nearly half of children think their parents spend too much time on their gadgets
  • 69% of children are allowed to use their phones and tablets without their parents present
  • The average home has £2,088 worth of tech
  • Smart phone chosen as the gadget both kids and parents couldn’t live without
  • Half of children have to show their parents how to use technology

New research by Admiral Home Insurance reveals it’s not just parents worried their kids are spending too much time on their gadgets, nearly half (48%) of children think their parents also waste too much time on their phones and tablets.

Admiral Home Insurance surveyed 1,000 children, aged between six and 13, and 1,000 parents about the tech they use and how they use it.

The insurance expert found the average British home now has £2,088 worth of tech. It also discovered that in a typical week, UK parents spend an average of 19.5 hours-a-week on their phones, tablets and computers. While their children are not far behind, with the average child spending 18 hours-a-week on their gadgets.

Noel Summerfield, head of home insurance at Admiral, said: “The amount of technology the average home has seems to grow every year. No sooner is the latest must-have gadget released than it becomes commonplace in the home.

“Our research shows just how much time we all spend using gadgets and it’s not just parents worrying their children are wasting their time on tablets and smart phones, many kids also want their parents to put them down and spend time in the real world.”

The smart phone was the one piece of tech both kids and their parents couldn’t do without, although far more parents than children ranked it as their number one gadget. For both generations, the TV was the second most essential gadget.

What gadget do you think you could not live without?


  1. Smart phone - 41%
  2. TV - 20%
  3. Computer - 16%
  4. Tablet - 7%
  5. Video game console - 2%


  1. Smart phone - 26%
  2. TV - 23%
  3. Tablet - 21%
  4. Video game console - 13%
  5. Computer - 10%

Admiral’s research also revealed some information that could concern some parents about how children are allowed to use their gadgets. 

More than two thirds (69%) of the children surveyed said they are allowed to use smart phones, tablets and computers when their parents aren’t around. For children aged 12 and 13 this rose to 84%, however more worrying was that more than half (51%) of the children aged six or seven said they are allowed to do it.

Despite the amount of time children dedicate to them, many parents consider tech smart phones and tablets as a positive development, with 41% saying they have made life better.

However, for nearly one in four (23%) parents, life was better before these types of gadgets became commonplace and they think they have made life worse.

One thing which is clear is, for children at least, tech is part and parcel of everyday life and many of them are more technologically advanced than Mum and Dad. In fact Admiral found nearly half (49%) of kids have to show their parents how to use their gadgets.

Noel Summerfield added: “While their parents grew up in a time of limited technology, where a VCR was the coolest gadget you could have, kids today are growing up in a time of massive development. It’s no wonder using tech is second nature to them and sometimes they have to show mum or dad how to use their smart phone.

“One thing is clear, UK households are in love with their technology and have no intention of giving it up. As a leading home insurer we’d just remind them to make sure they have adequate cover for their gadgets, so if the worst should happen, they can get them replaced.”

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