Addictive computer game Fortnite has become one of the biggest tools in a parent’s arsenal, a study has found.
Instead of grounding, taking sweets away and removing the television, almost two-thirds of mums now threaten a complete ban on the game if their children misbehave.
With some 40 million players worldwide, British children as young as eight are playing the game.
But a study of 858 parents of children who play Fortnite shows 54 per cent are concerned about the negative effects of the game.
In particular, the average family polled endures 11 arguments per month because children want to spend longer playing the survival shoot-outs.
The study found 63 per cent of parents find themselves arguing constantly about the attitude they receive when asking the child to come off the computer.
Other common rows are about how much time is spent playing (54 per cent), the amount of money spent on in-game purchases (39 per cent) and the general bad attitude (53 per cent).
However, just under half of parents like the fact the game is sociable, while 43 per cent say it’s nice to see their children so animated and excited about something.
Of the 46 per cent of parents who think the game has had a positive influence, 52 per cent like the fact their children have made new friends online and 31 per cent think they’ve become more confident since playing.
Interestingly, 61 per cent of mums and dads are convinced their little one’s hand-eye co-ordination has improved since playing Fortnite and 37 per cent think the game is important to keep children familiar with new technology.
Siobhan Freegard, founder of ChannelMum.com, which commissioned the research, said: “Our advice to parents is not to panic about Fortnite.
“Played sensibly it’s fun, sociable and can even help some children’s co-ordination skills.
“But like any habit, if it takes over all other activities, then it needs to be managed sensibly with limits imposed.
“Agree with your child what is acceptable use and ensure they stick to it. It may cause a Battle Royale in your home but it will be better for them long-term to have boundaries."
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