New research from Vodafone has revealed only one in five (22%) families are sitting down for dinner together every day away from TVs, phones and devices.

The majority (93%) of parents believe that technology is important for a child’s development – with 98% using digital devices to aid their learning. But the study, polling 1,600 parents with a least one child at home, found that trying to negotiate screen-free time is a source of tension, with six in ten (61%) parents admitting that getting children to switch off their devices is the biggest cause of disagreement in their household – leading to an average of two disputes a day.

The survey also revealed that it takes ten minutes for a child to switch off their devices after being asked. As a result, over half (53%) of parents have bribed their child to put their device away, with the most common including ‘you can have a snack’, ‘you can stay up later’ and ‘I’ll pay you’.

Dr Anna Colton, clinical child psychologist, commented: “Technology plays a huge part in all of our lives, and facilitates our work, learning and leisure.  It also enables us to connect with friends, family, and those we may otherwise be unable to reach. However, it’s important to remember to take daily digital downtime – both for ourselves and for our relationships with loved ones, to nurture relationships.

“30 minutes is the optimum amount of time for families to reconnect with one another away from screens because it’s long enough to have meaningful conversations, a meal or play a game but not so long that it feels worrying, forced or stressful.”

“Having time without devices is vital for everyone. Relationships need to be built and nurtured and this requires actual, face to face time, whether eating a meal together, playing games, reading stories, just chatting. Children learn how to be, behave and relate by watching others and interacting with them.”

Almost all (94%) parents say that having a break from technology is important for family relationships. Four in five (83%) would like to have more time away from screens as a family and 86% think dinner time is an important opportunity to spend quality time together.

Over half (55%) of parents say they have imposed rules on screen time, including no devices after a certain time, no phones at the dinner table and not allowing their child to take a mobile phone to school. However, more than six in ten (62%) parents have been caught out for breaking their own rules. Meanwhile, three-quarters (77%) say their children don’t always abide by these either.

Vodafone’s Pro Broadband offers customer an unbreakable connection – with a hybrid 4G broadband back-up solution, as well as expert support and WiFi in every room (or the customer can leave their contract for free, guaranteed).

Vodafone’s new Super WiFi Plus booster with Alexa Built-in provides reliable WiFi in every room, allowing customers to listen to music, check the news, set reminders, make phone calls, control their smart home and much more – all direct from their voice-enabled Super WiFi Plus booster.

Between 12 – 29th November, every customer who purchases a Pro Broadband package will receive an Alexa-integrated WiFi extender at no extra cost. For more information visit:

From today, Vodafone customers can get full-fibre broadband (over 900Mbps average speeds) for half price at just £30 a month – available in certain locations across the country.


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