Let us begin with asking these questions to ourselves. Do we give mobile phones to our child to make them eat their food? Do we tell our child, if you finish your homework you will be given mobile phone to play games? How often do we read them stories or sing them lullabies instead of playing it on our mobile? These questions will make us realise we have become so much dependent on our mobile phones that now our little ones too have followed us. In order to make our life easy, we have made our children “tech-slaves” rather than being “tech savvy”. First, we should minimise our screen time, before we complain about our children always being glued to mobile phone.
National Child Health Programme, which is a government initiative recently aired an advertisement which shows child’s mom busy with her work in the kitchen and chit-chatting with other ladies while dad is busy watching T.V and the child is left alone longing to be held and is seeking attention. Through this advertisement government wants to make us aware how we have been unfair to our children by being so busy in our work. Childhood is the foundation for our child’s happy and secure future. The first 1000 days, starting from the day the child was in the womb are most crucial for the child’s brain development, because in this period 80% of the brain gets developed.
Let us see how excessive use of mobile phones is harmful for our child:-
- Depression- ADD/ADHD and other anxiety problems are common in kids who spend more number of time on mobile phone as such kids are not able to cope up in studies due to difficulty in concentrating.
- Relationship Problems- Child will stay aloof from family members as he/she is busy with the mobile which breaks emotional bond and communication between family members.
- Lack of common sense- The child becomes so much dependent on mobile phone, that he/she is unable to apply his own brains and find solutions.
- Negative emotions- Child may become angry while losing any games played on phone which can make him/her intolerant towards real life losses. Also child might imitate hitting, punching, shooting with friends and other family members which he/she did while playing violent games.
- Back Pain- Sitting with mobile phone for more number of hours can lead to back pain which usually doesn’t go easily.
- Headaches- Child gets headache because of the bright light thrown from the mobile phone and also the emission of radiation.
- Eye problem- Constantly seeing into the mobile causes dryness in eyes and also affects the vision leading to wearing spectacles at a very young age.
- Less physical activity- Child will feel mundane throughout the day due to less playing out and more screen time.
- Affects posture- Child is so engrossed in the mobile phone, that he/she is not bothered about posture.
- Sleeping problem- Child will find difficulty in sleeping due to flashy lights and visuals which stimulate the child.
Here are some tricks which we can use to prevent our child from screen addiction
- Go screen free- Children imitate us. Parents should spend certain amount of time with their children everyday, and in that time strictly nobody should be allowed to take their mobile phones. This will make the child feel important and so they will love to spend time with us instead of mobile phone.
- Identify their likes- Identify what the child loves doing, whether it is drawing, craft, reading, or any sports, help them learn it, this will make them stay away from mobile phone.
- Spend some time out of home- Take your child out for a walk or encourage them to play with other kids. They will explore and learn new things through observing and interacting.
- Set an example yourself- We are looked upon by our children, so we should curtail unnecessary use of mobile phones and spend more time with kids.
These tricks would definitely work if followed religiously, so let us once again be a child with our children and blossom their childhood with love, snuggle, laughter and adventure!