Have you seen a child who does not know what a mobile phone is? Or does not know how to operate it? Or does not know how to play videos on YouTube and install apps? If you have, then you are not from around here, and for the rest, I have some important information to share so that you know what you and your child is getting into if he/she is spending most of the time (more then an hour) in front of a mobile phone or a tab.
Why Mobile is so addictive for children and for adults?
For obvious reasons, but let me tell you one by one
- It requires minimal or no physical energy to use.
- It’s handy, easy to understand and easy to use
- It’s durable, not like other toys which children have them in their possession and break them within a few days unlike mobiles which are kept with special care, always charges and always available for use.
- We make it so attractive for our children by using it all the time, giving it importance, talking about it with our friends, buying a new model or thinking to buy new models every now and then.
- We “want” our child to be well versed in using the mobile phone so that they are not socially outcast.
- Last, but most important of all, it has free Apps. From social media to games, every app is so intuitive that it’s hard to resist.
What Mobile phone is doing to your child?
The most crucial age of the child is from 3 years to 8 years, where he builds his initial concept of life, understand the difference between right and wrong and starts realizing the world around him/her. Just imagine a single device is taking control over that. Have you ever wondered the things your children are talking about which they never learned it from you? Of course, you encourage them for the good things they share with you and reprimand them for any nonsense they learned, but soon as they grow up, the time will come where will know what to share and what not share with you. Then you will have no control over what your child is learning. You will have the power of your experience by age, but your child will have all the power in from the world of internet to prove you wrong on your face, or if he/she cannot do that, at least he/she will think in his heart that you are a fool.
Scary as it sounds, but trust me it’s happening, I have witnessed it my self with my own kids, my grown-up nephews, and nieces.
What needs to done?
Get a good understanding of what mobile device is? Not just specs, price or brand, but think of it as a disrupter in your child’s brought up and they role it can play to ruine it.
Give your child freedom through responsibility. Explain to him/her that what is right and what is wrong. Do not ever tell your child that does not do something just because you are saying so, explain him/her in detail about the rationale of your suggestion.
Be rest assured that, that time has gone where children used to scared of their fathers and teachers. The child in this age seeks for answers, just like the nature of a normal human being.
Learn how social media works, use all the social media apps which your child is using. Do not send them a friend request, or add them in your contacts, your purpose on that particular app is just so that you know what type of content that social media site is generating. Remember, the social media sites are very smart, they only generate the content for a specific user which they are interested in. The social media gathers the user’s interest based on what they search on Google.
Keep yourself up to date with the trends happening over the internet. One way of doing it to see WhatsApp messages that you are getting. They will tell you a lot about what is happening around you.
Take out time and patiently sit with them as watch whatever they are watching, show them that you are genuinely interested to see what they are watching. Don’t show them that you are keeping an eye on them, but just be friends with them.
Give them alternatives, perhaps, this is the most important thing to do. Most kids turn to mobiles because they don’t have anything else to do. Tell them what other options are available for them. Like board games, drawing, blocks, Jenga. Relive the games with them which you use to play when you had no mobile. Remember, children are very interested to know what their parents use to do when they were the kids.
Please share your experience, constructive feedback or a success story in the comments.