Six in 10 American parents admit that they spend more time on their electronic devices than their kids do.
On average, parents spend nearly five hours a day on electronic devices, compared to the less than four hours they spend on meaningful activities with their kids, according to a survey of 2,000 parents.
Most parents (80%) own three electronic devices or more, with the majority of their kids (81%) owning at least two electronic devices, highlighting the enormous presence of technology in households.
Only 2% of their kids do not own any devices.
The survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Campspot, a camping booking site, revealed that more than half of U.S. parents (60%) are seeking ways to escape technology and reconnect with their kids this summer.
With nearly eight in 10 (79%) of parents claiming their experiences with their children are more memorable without the presence of electronic devices, it’s no surprise that most (52%) parents have attempted to limit technology usage within their households.
They’ve tried encouraging outdoor play (76%), setting time limits (74%) and creating device-free zones (63%).
The majority have also started engaging in outdoor family activities for the summer, with camping and hiking trips (59%) emerging as the most popular choice, followed by picnics (58%) and visiting amusement and water parks (58%).
“Summer is the perfect time to unplug and reconnect with what truly matters – our families,” Erin Stender, chief marketing officer at Campspot, said. “We know the power of stepping away from screens and immersing ourselves in nature, since it’s often in these moments that we create the strongest family bonds. Camping in particular offers a unique opportunity for families to experience new adventures together, fostering not only a love for the outdoors but also nurturing children’s self-development.”
American parents agree, with a majority asserting that outdoor activities foster communication and connection (60%) within the family as well as create lasting memories that help a family bond (57%).
With camping trips deemed the most popular summer activity, parents pointed toward the positive impact that specific camping activities have on their children’s personal development, including nature walks (44%), campfire cooking (42%), fishing (38%) and setting up tents (32%).
Furthermore, they observed that camping and outdoor experiences fostered problem-solving skills (59%), independence (54%) and resilience (54%) in their kids.
Parents also noticed a positive shift in their own parenting style when outdoors. Seventy-two percent reported being able to focus more on family time, while more than half (52%) admitted to feeling more relaxed and laid-back in such environments.
“Our hope is that families embrace the beauty of camping this summer, allowing parents and children to unplug from the digital noise and plug into the wonders of the great outdoors,” Stender said. “By spending quality time without electronic devices, we give ourselves the gift of undivided attention, fostering deeper connections and meaningful conversations that become the foundation of lasting memories.”
TOP SUMMER ACTIVITIES PARENTS ARE PLANNING
- Camping and hiking in nature – 59%
- Having picnics or outdoor family meals – 58%
- Visiting amusement parks or water parks – 58%
- Exploring new places and traveling – 58%
- Going to the beach or pool – 56%
- Engaging in sports – 48%
- Going on family bike rides or walks – 35%
PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT SKILLS KIDS LEARN FROM CAMPING
- Problem-solving and critical thinking – 59%
- Teamwork and collaboration – 55%
- Resilience and adaptability – 54%
- Independence and self-reliance – 54%
- Social skills and relationship-building – 52%
This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 parents of school-aged children was commissioned by Campspot between June 21 to July 7, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).
Produced in association with SWNS Research