Smart phones| The impact on children and family

Smart phones| The impact on children and family 

The pandemic era made the children feel lonely and depressive as moving outdoors meant inviting the infection. Mobile games have been their only saviour.
smart phones

The children became more occupied with the games on mobile phones during the lockdown. 

On one hand the parents have been pleased that their kids are safe inside the houses, there on the other hand they are not aware of the forthcoming risks involved with the games.

The pandemic has been more of a curse for the children as they have been forced to stay indoors. With the children being repeatedly made aware of the risk involved with the infection, parents gave in to the idea of allowing the children to play games on the mobiles. Some of the parents bought smart phones for their children so that they could play games, and some even parted with their phones for hours to go and allowed the children to play games on their mobiles. The story begins here.

Mobile phones gave rise to a lot of health issues; children started putting on weight in the absence of outdoor physical activity and became a permanent member on the couch while playing games on the gadgets. Red and swollen eyes, pain in the hands and fingers, and of course junk food while playing games gradually became a fashion.

The other drastic effects of the games can also be seen on the child’s mentality. Some of the kids have also gone into a great change of behavior, an absolute transformation, from a normal child into an erratic child. Some have started behaving violently, some think that they can throw a tantrum and get things done. The characters in the games have a strong effect on the children when they are exposed to these characters, especially the ones in combat games, for a long time.

One very important and not-to-be-missed point is the shopping within the game. Recently a man had to sell his car following the extravagant shopping done by his son for a particular game. Some time back in a similar case one of the parents had reported of one such financial loss because of the shopping done by the child and in both cases the amount was in lakhs.

Here the point is that parents need to be extremely vigilant in such cases when they are handing over their own mobiles to the kids as the mobile is basically their bank. Children (mostly) do not realize the loss they are heading into and shopping for the game seems to be just a normal part of the game. It is only when you get a message from the bank referring to the amount withdrawn (when you check the messages in your phone when you have it finally in your hands), you get the shock.

What we need to do is to keep the gaming mobile and the normal mobile separate as children tend to commit such follies and there is no way to repair the loss (which actually is an expensive thing but better than losing lakhs of rupees). Also children must not have access to the passwords of your phone. Make sure you keep the banking apps well locked and secured and set separate passwords for them.

(As it is, we need to keep an eye on the children and not allow them to download games without our permission, else separate mobiles are the only option. The lockdown period has been very bad for the kids who have been living more than a caged life.)

Before any of these steps, the most important point is to set an example for the children by spending your free time in either reading books, or gardening, or playing with the kids. If a parent is seen hanging on to the mobile, children follow suit. Then there is no way you can teach them the positive points of staying away from the mobile.

There are many guides available on the net regarding parental control over what the child can browse, what he cannot. Video options can be locked, and there are many options which can be disabled over the phone. But the best option would be to talk things over with the children and explain the pros and cons of mobiles and mobile games. It is all about communication with the children and if good examples are set and good habits developed, a child would want to stay away from the mobile games on his own as his interests would have been developed by you in many other fields of life.

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