Parents playing five extra hours of video games a week to bond with their children, poll finds

Sixty per cent of parents admit that their children would have struggled over lockdown without video games

Conor Pharo
Friday 30 October 2020 11:39 GMT
60 per cent of parents admit their children would have struggled over lockdown without video games
60 per cent of parents admit their children would have struggled over lockdown without video games (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


Parents have spent an extra five hours a week playing video games in recent months hoping to connect and bond with their children, according to a new study. 

A poll of 2,000 mums and dads found 56 per cent have upped the amount of time they’ve spent playing games online, enjoying the likes of Fortnite and FIFA with their offspring. 

For one in 10 parents, it’s the first time they’ve picked up a joystick or joypad in their lives and attitudes towards video games may be shifting as a result. 

Computer games are often seen as having a negative influence on children, but 60 per cent now admit that their kids would have struggled through lockdown and the lack of socialising without them.

Just under half of those polled even said they're more relaxed about their children's use of computer games now, and less likely to restrict usage compared to pre-coronavirus.

According to the OnePoll research, one in five families also said grandparents have been brought further into the fold through gaming. 

Proving gaming isn’t just for kids, Bridget Odlin, a 76 year old gamer from Louth, Lincolnshire, said: “Gaming has always been a passion of mine and something I have enjoyed with my kids and now my grandkids.

“It’s so important to stay connected with your family and there’s definitely no age limit on having fun – gaming allows me to bond and spend time with each of my grandkids – they often come round to play games with me, and I often win.

“I’ve even used gaming to connect with friends, and now my husband, I have got him hooked and we play lots of games together at home and on holiday.“

Three in 10 involved in the study also confessed that before lockdown, they didn't make enough time to do things which their children enjoyed - like playing games.

Ria Rianti, a spokesperson for Cadbury Heroes, which commissioned the research, said: “Now more than ever, families are looking for opportunities to connect, and we believe it’s the little things that can help bring us together - like sharing a hobby or learning a new skill.  

“Getting involved in something parents may feel has left them behind – such as video games – is a great way to show children that their interests have value.

Aside from the bonding aspect, four in 10 parents now also consider gaming to be a great way to improve hand-eye coordination or boost problem-solving skills.

Other benefits noticed by parents include enhanced multitasking skills, memory improvement and better social skills.


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