TV and gadgets seem to have overtaken the playground, a study by an IT company suggests
Parents prefer that their children spend more time at home with gadgets than go out and play in the open grounds, states a survey by software and hardware company HP India. The survey ‘Happy Holidays’ reviewed 152 children in the age group of 11 to 14 years along with 226 parents in three metropolitan cities of Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. The study was undertaken with the objective of knowing how children spend their holidays; whether they prefer indoor or outdoor activities. It states that 49 per cent parents prefer their children to spend more time at home while 36 per cent prefer their children to spend equal time both inside and outside. While most parents in Delhi and Bangalore prefer their children to stay indoors, parents in Mumbai prefer their children to spend time outdoors. Watching television is still the universally popular activity with 93 per cent of children engaging with it. While playing sports and learning skills is preferred, browsing has become the most popular activity with the advent of new media, followed by reading. Internet browsing is preferred by 68 per cent of parents and 70 per cent of children. While parents find it easy to spend more time with their children when they are inside, children find it more interesting to stay at home, sit before their computers and do all sort of “clickable” activities, be it playing video games, browsing, surfing, chatting or socializing. Indeed, children on an average spend 4.10 hours at home for leisure activities during holidays, compared to an average 3.19 hours spent in outdoor activities, says the study.
Summer camps are relatively less popular among parents with only 58 per cent parents preferring their children to spend time at such camps in comparison to 72 per cent children who prefer to go to summer camps. Arts and crafts, travel, quizzes, photography and cooking are other activities done during holidays and the only preferred outdoor activities during holidays are travel, learning sports and going for summer camps. The survey says that the biggest aim of parents behind any indoor or outdoor activity remains gaining knowledge, and their idea that parent’s supervision and learning culture is essential at this age. This mentality has led to kids spending lesser time outside their homes. The study shows how digitization has affected the mindset and life of both parents as well as children.