Updated: Jan 17

PARENTS PLAYING FIVE EXTRA HOURS OF VIDEO GAMES A WEEK TO BOND WITH THEIR CHILDREN, POLL FINDS. Sixty percent of parents admit that their children would have struggled over lockdown without video games.

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 percent 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 percent now admit that their kids would have struggled through a lockdown and the lack of socializing 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 to the game 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 “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.

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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