Is your child another ‘PUBG wala’?
Is mobile screentime becoming too much for your child? Do not snatch the phone! Let them have it!
But for what and how?! Let’s explore more here.
If kids are whining about having to go outside instead of playing video games, or if they’re slacking off in school or can’t sit still in a restaurant without an iPad in front of them, there might be a problem, said Patrick Markey, a psychology professor at Villanova University in Pennsylvania.
When your child ignores friends, outdoor games, act irritated, cannot sit still without a mobile in a family gathering, gets angry, losing academic interest, and/or continues to play on their phone, is it time to snatch the phone?
No way!! They may turn aggressive.
Remember our honorable PM Modi’s answer in ‘Parischska par charcha’ on 29th Jan 2019.
On a serious note, the Prime Minister said it was not good to dissuade children from technology. “Explore ways in which you encourage your children towards accepting and understanding technology. But remember, technology should be used to expand our horizons, not to let it shrink us in our life. It should not be allowed to narrow us down, as that would be very harmful to us,” he advised.
“Like everything else, technology comes with its positives and negatives. As parents, we must guide our children to get the most from technology. Encourage their inquisitiveness on learning about various apps… like how to build something, or cook something.”
He said if parents tried to make these efforts, children would hopefully move from “PlayStation to the playground”.
Moving forward, mobile technology is influencing our life to a greater extent by making daily activities easier and comfortable. However, the other side of the technology influence is that it is killing the childhood play and behavior in students.
Let us understand how mobile technology is influencing the students’ life and ways to curb the disadvantages of mobile usage.
Many of the students today engage in mobile activities such as social media, playing games, and chatting with friends. Moreover, overuse of mobile creates a negative impact. Some of the negative implications of mobile usage are as follows.
5 Negative Implications of Mobile Usage:
- Impairment in physiology: Many of the students complain of a headache, neck pain, obesity, posture problem, or poor vision. The spine alignment gets disturbed as we see them sitting in a lazy position or lying down on the bed or sofa. The light emitted from the screen causes a headache or strain eyes leading to use of specs at an early age of life.
- Reduced physical activity: The physical activities such as playing outdoor or indoor games, or buying a milk packet when the mother asks to do looks like a heavy task for the children. But, in olden days, children can be made run to shops for petty purchases with a bait of chocolate. The lack of physical activity or breathing in fresh air is influencing the muscle growth adversely.
- Irregular sleep cycle: As the child goes to sleep with a mobile in hand, you never when the child slept and woke up to get engaged with an interesting game. The brain gets disturbed and thus affects the sleep cycle that may lead to insomnia in its later stages.
- Psychology impairment: When children spend more time on mobile, it may curtail the creativity or imagination ability of the child. They get attracted to the virtual world and find less time to pretend and play creating a barrier for their imagination.
The children may start acting aggressive. Or it may lead to anxiety or depression or intolerance conditions when unattended.
- Social insensitiveness: Generally children imbibe language skills, communication skills, interpersonal or social skills by interacting with friends, family, and relatives. But, the overuse of mobile may lead to staying solitary. The child may not learn patience, sportiveness, and other interpersonal skills to lead a normal social life or tolerate losses. The goal of life diminishes. And, the child may turn violent too.
Read on further to know how we can help children from getting back to normal childhood life by promoting measures to prevent mobile addiction.
7 Ways to Prevent Mobile Addiction in Students
- Find alternatives: Whenever your child is feeling lonely, do not shut them by handing over a phone to them. Try to engage your child in other activities. Assign them simple household chores such as cleaning up the garage, gardening, or vehicle cleaning.
Engage them with creative classes such as painting, dance, music, or whatever that interests them.
- Spend family time: Family time creates a significant impact on the child. Make it a habit of having at least one meal a day together. It is recommended to go for a walk together, organize picnics or family tours often. It is advised to spend more time with children to kill their loneliness.
- Lead by setting an example: Research shows that children copy actions than follow words. So, if you want your child not to use mobile, then do so by setting yourself as an example. If you spend your leisure time reading, walking, or indulging in household chores, they definitely would follow you so. If you can decrease your screentime, definitely they do check their screentime.
- Place gadgets in commonplace: If your child is involved in playing games, let them do so. But, keep the computer in the hall, or connect games to TV, so that they are in the vicinity of elders while surfing. In addition, provide them screentime and tasks such as dinner after ten minutes, dishwashing and then games, and, so forth. Implementing a strict schedule on gadget and Internet usage is encouraged.
- Do not buy a personal gadget: It is recommended not to buy a personal gadget for children. If they want to play games, let them use parents’ phone. Let them use the family phone to use mobile apps for study purpose. In case, there occurs compulsion to buy a phone for safety purpose, then it is better to buy a phone that does not have advanced features and functionalities.
- Establish family rules: It is appreciated if you can set certain common rules in the family. It may include the prohibition of the phone on the dining table, no games during exam time, switch off mobile during sleeping, limited screentime, sharing details of games they play with elders, and so forth.
- Protect your gadget with passwords: You can always protect your phone or laptop with passwords. Ensure that the games are played only on your devices to cut in-app purchases using credit cards in the game without your knowledge. Generally, freemium games allure the players to purchase things like jewels, coins, other things, or upgrade the game for a price.
And lastly, there is always an option to deny the mobile access when all the above measures or warnings turn in vain.
5 Ways to Encourage Students to Use Mobile:
- Social Media: Allow them to use social media under strict vigilance. Teach them its benefits, and expose them to cyber issues, online safety issues, and teach them how to protect themselves.
- Exercises: Have a fifteen to twenty minutes workout session daily. Join them and use YouTube to search workout sessions, learn its benefits, and practice as a daily routine.
- Download educational apps: Help them download educational apps, and let them revise academic subjects, understand subjects through animated videos and audio lectures.
- Try a new dish: Join them any Sunday, surf a new dish and its video recipe. Try cooking with them and make the home environment lighter.
- Digital literacy: Help them understand digital citizenship. Make them literate in the digital world so that they stay competitive in the techno-world.
The Key Takeaway:
As suggested by Modiji, let us explore more ways to encourage children to use mobile productively and constructively, rather than banning them from mobile usage.
Let us help our children to be techno-competent.