BBC study finds UK parents concerned about children’s viewing habits

The Square Eyes

The majority of parents in the UK are concerned about the amount of screen time their children are receiving post-pandemic, according to a survey by BBC Children’s and Education.

Of the 2,010 parents participating in the survey, 79% felt that their children have been using screens more since the pandemic, with 67% concerned about what their child is watching.

Breaking down those concerns, 35% of the parents polled said they were worried about the violence depicted on screen, while 26% are concerned about the addictive nature of certain content and 21% by the use of foul language.

However, 65% of participants agreed that screen time has the ability to foster creativity and communication and an overwhelming 93% said that they are interested in educational programming for their children.

The study found that 51% of parents said that education is the most important thing when it comes to what children are watching on screens, followed by 30% that said entertainment.

Meanwhile, 70% of parents said that it is important that the content their child accesses comes from a trusted source.

Patricia Hidalgo, director of BBC Children’s and Education, commented: “The debate around children and screens is often a difficult one for parents to navigate. As a public service offering that has earned the unswerving trust of British families, the BBC is in a unique position to address this.

“When it comes to screens, it’s what’s on them that counts and we are proud to highlight, through this campaign, our support to all families across the UK by delivering bold, multi-genre and age appropriate content that enriches children’s abilities to connect with others, express their ideas and develop essential communication skills – whilst keeping them entertained!”

In related news, BBC Creative has launched a new TV spot The Square Eyes in collaboration with Blink Ink and directed by Sam Gainsborough. The 60-second stop-motion animation reassures parents that screens, when used responsibly, can be a powerful tool for their children.

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