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I have seen most of the children (1-5 yrs old) holding mobile phones or tablets and playing games on it. Somehow I find this thing irritating. I decided during my pregnancy itself that I won’t let my child do this.
Easier said than done!
Once when my father had come to visit us, he entered my room and saw me using my phone while feeding my little one when he was around 3 months old. I am one of those people who are cursed to get caught on phone by parents at the wrong time that is sure to give a wrong impression. This always happened in college during exams, as soon as I used to pick up phone to take a break from studying- TA DAAA!! My father entered thinking this is what I have been doing all that time. And now that I am a mother myself it still happened, I was just replying to a message. There I got a really long lecture on how the phone can harm the baby’s brain. I had maintained distance from my phone during pregnancy and was trying to practice it that time too, but The Curse! Anyway, that day I decided that I will reduce my phone usage even more. My baby was a good sleeper during the day till he was 5 months old (Ah! Those memories of few months back). So I had nothing much to do while he slept. The phone would act as a magnet for me that time. I resisted. It still pulled my mind towards it and I lost the battle to scroll through Facebook or ping a friend to talk. This continued till my baby didn’t learn crawling.
Babies these days are so attracted to the light and sound of the phones. Even a month old baby would notice a phone in a room full of other stuff. Then I understood it was not as easy as I thought to keep the child away from phones. Then there were three more people in the house who used phone a lot. I needed to convince them as well to reduce using their phones as he was getting more and more interested in it each day. Now that was difficult!
I sat with my husband to discuss about it and we decided we won’t use the phone while the baby is around. Then we both went to Mom and Dad to convey the message. Everyone agreed and there was a big smile on my face.
But it was difficult not to use the phone for everyone. Phones are addiction for us adults too and it is difficult to manage this habit. I was almost used to not using it for few months so it wasn’t a big issue for me but for others it was, as they forgot about our pact sometimes. The baby would come and watch the screen with them or they would show him some videos on the phone. It wasn’t working out and it worried me.
It became very strenuous task to keep the phone out of his reach as he started crawling and walking. Then we all realised that we are not putting our complete efforts and he is becoming one of those kids who need the phone in their hands always, even before they turn one. Then we also had a neighbor talking about his kid not leaving the phone the whole day and they regret introducing him to phone even for showing him rhymes and stories to keep him busy. We were alarmed.
We stopped taking this matter lightly and all started making conscious efforts to stop using the phone as soon as they see our little bundle of joy. It has worked wonderfully! Now when he doesn’t see us using the phone he himself doesn’t feel the need to hold it in his hand.
Children do what they see and not what they are told to do. We can’t tell them not to use the phone if we use them constantly or introduce them to phones to feed them or keep them busy. This practice of not picking up the phone at every message beep has made everyone happy at home as we spend more time with each other now. It is good for everyone’s health as we keep it away from ourselves as much as possible. We never keep our phones on bed where we sleep and not even near to where the baby sleeps. This is good for the child as well-
Now when my baby has turned one I have seen a drastic change in his approach towards a phone. I along with my family were determined to not let the phones ruin our relation and our child’s physical and mental growth. It was very challenging at every step but we wanted the Best for Our Baby.
This article is not to offend mothers who have no other option but to take help of a phone to keep kids busy. This is just my perspective and experience that I am sharing with mothers who still can let the kids not be dependent on phones for entertainment. Happy Parenting!
Please share your experiences too and also some ways that helped your kid to get rid of this awful habit.
Also watch this video from Johnson-Johnson that gives you tips that can prove to be Best for your baby.