Feeding kids in front of the television, keeping the child busy with smartphone, Chromebooks or other personal devices, etc. is not an uncommon sight these days. It is a common sight to notice children throwing tantrums when the television is switched off or gadgets are taken away. Some parents even take pride in the child’s ability to operate electronic gadgets.
At first, the parents think that computer/ smartphone game is educational for the child — but things soon take a turn for the worse. The parents couldn’t deny that they are seeing changes in the child “my child is getting more and more focused in the game and has lost interest in games and is refusing to do his/her chores. Some children wake up and inform the parents that the child could see a cube shape in their dream. This is a serious concern, but the parents think that the child must be experiencing active imagination. When this continues, the parents try to take away the game but the child throws temper tantrums.
The outbursts are so severe that the parents often give up and parents are still rationalizing repeatedly that “its educational”. After a while, the parents realize that something is seriously wrong. The parents walk into the child’s room and find the child staring wide-eyed at the gadget and is not sleeping. The child seemed to in a state of trance without noticing the presence of the parents in the room. The parents end up shaking the child to grab attention.
Children are falling victim to an addition that doctors say is as bad as cocaine for their minds. This addiction can lead to a serious issue and the child will require professional intervention. It is common to find many leading hospitals who have started “digital detox” programs which were unheard few years ago. Unfortunately, tech screens have the same effects as Class A drugs.
How should parents address this addiction?
The key question for the parents is “How much (screen time) is too much”. Parents must realize that they must set an example for the child. Parents cannot be busy on emails, Facebook, WhatsApp when at home. Children are constantly learning from what parents are doing. After a long tiring day’s work parents turn on the television and expect the child to study/ sleep. In the modern world, these new tech toys are meant to make our lives easy and not take over our lives. If parents don’t realize the damage these gadgets are doing in the lives of families early than children are drifting towards a danger zone — “digital heroin” and will need professional intervention.
It is parents who must take control of their lives and set an example for the children. A time has come for families to keep aside tech toys, switch-off the “Wi-Fi”/ television and enjoy the family time together. If not, parents will be responsible for “digital heroin”.