teen depressed 180Research has found that nearly a quarter of parents struggle to persuade their children to take part in activities away from televisions, phones and computer screens.

In a survey for charity Action for Children many UK parents suggested they find it easier to get their children to do homework, go to bed or have a bath than turn off their phones, laptops and TVs, a poll finds.

While 23.1% of parents struggle to control their children's screen use, just 10% found it hard to get them to do their homework and only 5% found it difficult to get their offspring to have a bath.

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Carol Iddon, managing director of operations at Action for Children, said: "Technology is an often necessary part of the lives of children and parents alike, but it's important to maintain a balance with other activities and quality family time.

"We know from our extensive work with families that strong relationships with parents build resilience in children, making them less susceptible to bullying or abuse outside the home, and encouraging them to speak to their parents about any fears or concerns. As well as the conscious effort to cut down on screen time, some parents benefit from additional support, such as dropping in for a chat or attending support groups at children's centres, to learn how to better connect with their children."

In light of the findings, the charity has published a series of tips to help families reduce the amount of time children spend watching television and using screens including:
- planning family activities that do not include technology
- creating a weekly schedule based on the idea of one hour of technology use equalling one hour on other activities
- recreating favourite childhood games
- parents turning off their devices at the same time as children have screen-free time.

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