It would be next to impossible to give any one concrete real life example related to this topic. Simply because almost every second parent is giving his or her mobile in their baby’s hand. Convenient, hassle free, easily accessible and of course your child will be glued to it for hours at a stretch. Why? Obviously, it’s colourful, musical and at the tip of your fingers. A wonderful distraction that keeps your baby out of your hair when you are busy.
In spite of all the visible so called advantages mentioned above, a mobile phone is the most harmful and the biggest enemy for the overall growth and development of your toddler and will bring in a huge communication gap between you and your baby. Let’s take a sneak peek into the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’.
1. With a smart phone in hand, your toddler is glued to one place, is not doing any physical activity and sedentary lifestyle leads to obesity.
2. From such a tender age his eyes are heavily receiving light radiation at close quarters. Needless to say, we all know how much screen time can affect our eyes.
3. Your baby’s social skills get delayed. When he or she is stuck with a phone in hand, they are not talking or interacting with anyone. Ways of behaving, mannerisms, communicating effectively, display of emotions, understanding others, everything goes for a toss.
4. Food intake is badly disturbed which can make him or her weak and prone to illnesses.
5. Your baby can become cranky, throw temper tantrums and become stubborn and irritable.
Those of you who have toddlers and if your child is addicted to a mobile phone, I’m sure with the above points, you can straight away picture your day in front of your eyes. Now let’s try a few tricks to break this bad habit and give our little angels a world filled with love, attention and the warmth of human touch.
1. Introduce your child to the world of books. You get a humongous variety in the market. Thick cover bound, waterproof, colourful, different topics related, with talking pens, the list is endless. Now my boys are young men. But back in those days we didn’t have mobiles and thank God for it. Books and puzzles were a blessing. We spent a whole lot of quality time together reading and solving puzzles. Bedtime stories were a must. Believe it or not, I’ve actually told my boys stories till they were in eighth standard, on demand. They forced me to.
2. Explore parks and gardens around you. Slides, swings, see-saws, jungle gym and friends. The laughter and joy which you will find on your baby’s face, no mobile phone will ever give him that.
3. Have Legos and board games at home. They can become a beautiful time pass for the entire family. Tell your child it’s a competition, let’s race to the finish line.
4. Be a good role model and use your phone less in front of your toddler. Let him know that life does not revolve around it and we can breathe even without a mobile.
I would like to end with this beautiful quote.
“Two of the greatest gifts we can give our children are roots and wings”.
Roots of a loving and supportive family and wings of dreams to fly high. A mobile phone snatches away all that. Think about it.
-Shamim Merchant ✍️