20100630pauca9800GROUNDING children to instil discipline appears to be a thing of the past.

New research shows parents are now punishing troublesome children with an iPad or Kindle ban instead.

The Childwise survey, which has tracked families since the 1990s, found that young people spend more time online than watching television.

As a result of this, it suggests handheld devices like tablets, smartphones and Kindles have become significant bargaining tools in family negotiations.

Researchers said: “Parents like tablets because they are controllable, they can be given or taken away to reflect good or bad behaviour in a way that is not possible with a conventional TV or computer.”