YET another new games console has been released this week.

My heart sank when I read that. My children already spend too much time with their eyes fixed on screens, racing imaginary Mario Karts or sports cars with their friends, despite the glorious invention of parental controls which can switch the console off after an hour. The trouble is, they find something else screen-related within minutes. And if it's raining stair rods outside, and I'm cooking dinner or finishing off some work, I'm too busy to argue.

All their friends are the same. We seem to have created a generation utterly reliant on technology.

I have been known to turn the Wi-fi off as I walk past the home hub, and pretend it's broken, but the trouble is my kids are years ahead of me when it comes to technology, know what all the little flashing lights and symbols mean, and they saw through that the second time I did it.

I'm sure that all but the most disciplined parents – who I imagine have more time and energy than those of us who juggle a full-time office job, two school runs and a toilet roll-length to-do list most days – would be embarrassed to admit to their peers just how much time their children are sitting in front of screens.

Sending them outside to play with friends nearby, or taking them out somewhere, is the easiest way of doing it, but the default position when they return is the headphones and the joystick, or whatever they call it. And I'm aware that once they become teenagers, any phones they might be lucky enough to get will need to be surgically removed from their hands.

The trouble is, the more time children and teenagers are watching You Tube make up tutorials or shooting their friends on Fortnite, the less time they are actually learning to be adults.

As parents, our jobs are not to keep our children reliant on us, but to send them out into the world, confident and independent. And they can only do that if they learn how to take care of themselves while they're still at home.

Learning to use different devices, PCs and phones is in itself, important, for we are in the middle of a technological revolution and our childrens' adult lives will be ruled by it. But Education Secretary Damian Hinds said this week that young people are needing more help than previous generations in being independent when they leave home. Students could 'struggle with the pressures of moving away' he said, and mental health problems amongst the young are almost at epidemic proportions.

He has launched a 'life skills' scheme, free to schools from next term, which will include questions such as what the price of a litre of milk is, and how often to wash your sheets when you move out of home. Mr Hinds said fewer teenagers were working part-time or Saturday jobs, and these could provide 'life-lessons from having to suck it up'.

It's tough to remember to reinforce independence when you're a busy parent, but I for one don't want to be doing my kids' washing and ironing until they're 30.

My son power-washed the patio at the weekend which was a major victory, but I really need to teach them all to use the washing machine. Slowly, we'll get there.