Making children watch TV is now a way of disciplining them according to recent research which found that young children are so used to tablets and the versatility that comes with them that TV has become an inferior second choice.
Miner & Co found that almost one in two parents will confiscate a child’s tablet and put them in front of the television as a form of punishment. The survey of 800 parents of children aged two to twelve reported that 58 per cent of children have their own tablet while 57 per cent prefer a device other than TV for watching video.
It showed that TV was seen as a passive and often social experience whereas tablets “offer versatility, simple user interface and a ‘personal’ viewing experience".
The report said that TV has become “the second or even third screen for many of these kids” as a result of tablets and smartphones being the preferred choice of platform to watch and explore video content.
One mother who took part in the research touched upon the isolated experience that tablets can create saying that her son “having a small device, makes it feel like his own and he doesn’t have to share it, whereas any time anything is on the TV he has to consider siblings.”
A comment from one child surveyed in the study gave an insight into how TV may be typically viewed by young children, “TV isn’t that good, because you can’t control it. Basically, the TV sucks.”
The findings from the study add depth to Ofcom’s research which found that children are increasingly choosing tablets over TV. However, the body of research has led scientists to warn that using iPads to pacify children could harm their development.