Listen, we are al guilty of occupying our little ones with a phone or iPad every now and the - it just keeps them quiet.


However, while it may seem like the most convenient option, it may be detrimental to their ability to socialise, and make friends. 


According to a new study, reported earlier this month in the new book Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked, kids who spend a week without any screen time "dramatically improve their ability to read facial expressions and better understand how others were feeling.


The study examine the behaviours of 51 at an outdoors camp for a week, where they left their screens behind. The children were aged 11-12 and from a mix of different backgrounds, and there was an equal number of girls and boys.


Boy and Girl Walking on Bridge during Daytime


When the kids arrived at the camp, they performed the Diagnostic Analysis of Nonverbal Behaviour test, where they had to guess how a person was feeling based on their facial expressions and vocals.


The results were concerning, with an average of 14 errors per child, out of 48 questions.


Just one week later, by the end of camp, the children had spent time climbing, cooking and interacting with other kiddies. The group of children retook the original test, and their original mistake rate had fallen by a third.


Girl in White Long Sleeve Shirt and Black Skirt Sitting on Swing during Day Time


The author of the study concluded that "a week without the interruption of screens could do wonders for children’s ability to interact with others and make friends."


“Kids do better at a task that drives the quality of their social interactions when they spend more time with other kids in a natural environment than they do when spending a third of their lives glued to glowing screens,” he said to The Cut.


What do you think, mums? Could our kids benefit from some time away from screens? 


Toddler Blue Polo Shirt Sitting Near Boy in Green Crew Neck T-shirt