Updated: Mar 18, 2019
I was at a grocery store when I heard a fuming mother tell her friend about how her son slapped her for taking away the mobile phone from his hand.He was 10 years old from what I understood.( I wasn't eavesdropping, she was loud enough!)
And you may think how bad I felt for the poor mum.Sorry , But no! She needed a little spanking, I'd say!
Mobile phones have become the new lollipop we give our children.For example, you are travelling and your kid keeps worrying you, what do you do?
You take your child for a dentist's appointment and wait for your turn, your child keeps bugging you out of boredom, what do you do?
You are having an adult conversation with someone you know or even your spouse for that matter, your child keeps interrupting, what do you do?
Your child refuses to eat his or her meals, what do you do?
Yes, you are right, you hand over the lollipop, the mobile phone!
Now imagine the times when we did not have mobile phones, think about your own childhood for example.
What did you do as a child?
Yes. you are right, you learnt to wait patiently, you learnt to engage yourself, you learnt to observe people and things around you, you learnt to look out of the train or bus window and appreciate the view.Most importantly, you learnt to be patient and you learnt to adjust.
I am not an expert on parenting, just giving you some food for thought.
Do a reality check and see if your child is able to eat meals without a gadget?
Is able to wait patiently for a turn?
Is able to resist the constant urge to interrupt you?
Try it out for a week.I did. My child is now able to do all of this without a phone or a gadget.
I have seen my child turn extremely aggressive and impatient about everything when I used this as a lollipop to keep him from bugging me..But trust me it's like digging your own grave.
It's a temporary fix with long term side effects.Yes, it's like that antibiotic which heals quickly, but can affect one's overall immunity.
Help your child to build resistance. I agree, its hard work and time consuming. You may have to wait for a couple of hours for that tantrum to subside, but it will be all worth it. You would have taught your child patience and respect.
Give your child a book instead, give them puzzles, give them music ,give them colors, let them get messy , teach them to clean up,but think twice before you give that gadget with video games and senseless cartoons. You are getting them addicted to meaningless entertainment with long term side effects.
Help your child grow through nurturing, not bribing!