Busy Families Use Technology At The Dinner Table

Busy Families Use Technology At The Dinner Table

From discussing the school day to chatting with grandparents, for most families meal times are a chance to catch up.

But with work pressures and busy schedules more than a third of parents in the UK have now been forced to swap chit-chat for technology at the dinner table.

Handing their children tablets, phones and computer games, mums and dads admitted technology was the answer to making meal times fun and calming the chaos.

Research by Persil Washing Up Liquid found 29 per cent of those in favour of tech at the table trend couldn’t see any reason not to allow their children to play with devices while dining - with 23 per cent allowing technology to be used whilst eating in order to avoid a row.

Dads were more likely to give their children devices with dinner - with over a third giving into their kids’ technology demands. Looking for a little timeout, 35 per cent of parents confessed they distracted their children with devices at meal times to give them an opportunity to talk to their partners.

And it’s not just kids who are absorbed in technology - more than a third of adults admitted they too used tech as a way to unwind after a busy day, with another third using it to stay in touch with friends.

According to the Persil Washing Up Liquid survey, it seems technology at the table does not necessarily make for a peaceful meal time.

40 per cent of UK adults still described their meal times as ‘disruptive’, with 12 per cent
going as far as to brand them as ‘chaotic’ and a further 10 per cent confessed ‘family meal
time’ was non-existent.

The top two things most likely to cause an argument around the dinner table included 'What to watch on TV’ and resistance over turning off devices.

Unsurprisingly, parents of teenagers aged between 14 and 15 years old were nearly a third more likely to argue about technology.

Family time is changing with one in five UK adults preferring to eat dinner in front of the television.

However, when asked to think back to their childhood, 70 per cent of parents claimed to eat the family meal around the dining table and 42 per cent agreed that their parents had enforced a much stricter dinner table routine.

Regionally, families residing in the North East were least likely to sit down together to have their evening meal with a third admitting they preferred to dine in front of the TV.

The Welsh were least distracted by technology, with half of families choosing to sit down together to have their evening meal - 20 per cent more than those families based in the North East.

A spokesperson from Persil Washing up Liquid, said: “As part of the Persil Cook with Kids we are really excited about engaging children with food and allowing them to get messy with their parents in the kitchen.

“This research really highlights the importance of utilising the quality time with our children which we very often overlook at meal times.

“With such busy lives and a world run by technology it is unsurprising phones and tablets are disrupting our dinners.

“However, family meal times are a great time for everyone to catch up it seems a shame that time could end up being lost to electronic devices. Why not get your child involved in cooking instead.”

*2,000 people surveyed by Opinium Research, April 2015

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