In recent times, everyone has a new best friend, which is more cherished than anything else in the world. It holds all our secrets, we prefer to spend each of our free moment glued to that gadget.

Yes, you guessed it right — it is the Mobile Phone, which has encroached upon the space of almost all of our other relationships. When we are not busy in uploading or chatting on the mobile, we are busy reading other people’s posts. We feel connected to the whole world but in reality it’s just an illusion.

We are excluding ourselves from the real world and depending on the virtual world for our happiness. We ignore our near and dear ones to be in touch with strangers and that is taking a toll on our relationships.

The most affected from this parental addiction to mobile phones are their children. Parents ignore their children and their need for attention. Parents, if not busy with the phone, keep thinking about their incoming text and calls and in doing so they fail to give their undivided attention to their children. And this seriously affects the behaviour and growth of their children. The fathers, as well as mothers, love to spend all their spare time on their phones, the time which they used to spend with their children earlier.

The excess usage of phones by mothers affect the children most. Because children spent more of their time with their mothers and it directly affects them when they see their mother ignoring them in favour of her phone, who previously used to give her undivided attention to the children. The more parents spent their time on phone, the more behavioural problems their children will display. These range from sulking, whining and getting easily hurt to hyperactivity, temper tantrums and becoming frustrated easily.

Parents find it hard to multi-task between their children and mobile devices, making it difficult to read and respond to a child’s cues and manage difficult behaviour. For children, the more time their parents spend interacting with them, the more they will learn and grow. The interaction with an adult helps children learn the language and how to speak.

Same is happening with children as most parents give their phone to children to keep them busy while they finish their household chore or their personal work. And the children who spent lots of time playing till now start spending their time on mobiles and soon become addicted. It slowly affects their learning habit and isolates them from their surroundings and it becomes difficult to make friends with other children in the long run.

Children are spending way too much time in front of monitors and it’s really important for parents to drastically cut down the hours their kids are allowed to use their phones, computers, tablets, and video games.

Kids and teens aged between eight and 18 spend an average of more than seven hours a day looking at screens. The new warning from the AHA recommends parents limit screen time for kids to a maximum of just two hours per day. For younger children, aged between two and five, the recommended limit is an hour per day.

If you want to build your relationship with your children you have to put your phone aside and think hard and deep about your addiction.

When you’re with your kids, you really need to put your phone or your tablet down and talk to them because they pick up exactly what you’re doing.

And they will do the same when you want to talk to them next time because children follow their parents.

About the author

Sneha Prakash is an Entrepreneur, Teacher, Feminist, Literary Critic, Book reviewer, Writer, Culinarian, Mother, Wife & Daughter. She is Certified in Feminist Studies at IIT Madras and holds Master’s degree in English Literature from IGNOU. She runs her online classes and write columns and reviews for different websites and magazines. She writes stories which are hugely admired. She is an avid reader.