Dilemma: My family are smartphone addicts

Jo Brand / 10 April 2018

Jo Brand's take on a reader who wants their family to spend less time on their smartphones and more time enjoying the great outdoors.



Dilemma: My family are smartphone addicts

How can I encourage my children and their families to spend less time on their smartphones and more time outdoors?

Jo Brand's advice

If I could tell you the answer to that, it would be the equivalent of knowing the meaning of life!

It’s an issue that causes so much frustration and head-banging among the parental/slightly older/educational fraternity.

I’m presuming you’re talking about your grown-up children and their not-grown-up children. As a grandparent, you don’t have any option really, except asking nicely or begging. You have no authority over your grown-up children, and still less over their children.

You could try persuading them to join you once a week for a ‘nice’ walk in the countryside, but expect eye-rolling, moaning, sore feet and sneaky peeks at phones.

Every generation has its electronic bête noire – yours was probably TV. But once your kids are out of your jurisdiction, that’s it, I’m afraid, and you risk alienating them if you go on about it too much.

I suggest offering palatable alternatives – taking them out for a meal with a no-phone rule – or bribing them.

Other than that, your options are limited. Sorry, there’s no simple answer.

Your advice

"It doesn't really bother me. My only rule is not at the table. I went everywhere with a transistor radio attached to my ear. My kids went everywhere with a Walkman plugged in. Each generation has the latest technology." - Mary, via Facebook




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