Is ex­ces­sive time spent on mo­biles hurting chil­dren?

The Free Press Journal - - MUMBAI - STAFF REPORTER

The re­cent sui­cide case of a 15-year-old child in Kan­di­vali has wor­ried many par­ents about how to stop their chil­dren to cut short screen time in a day.

A well-known se­nior psy­chi­a­trist Dr Yusuf Matcheswalla said ex­ces­sive screen time is harm­ful for ev­ery­one and detri­men­tal to de­vel­op­ing minds.

“Chil­dren who spend more time on cell­phone are suf­fer­ing from ’psy­chi­atric dis­or­der’. The chil­dren al­ways de­mand gadgets and if not given, they in­dulge in self de­struc­tion by in­jur­ing them­selves or in ex­treme cases they end their lives. It proves that chil­dren, with ex­ces­sive screen time, are ab­nor­mal and im­me­di­ately need coun­selling,” said Dr Matcheswalla.

Though football en­thu­si­ast Sean Vaz was good at aca­demics and sports yet he took ex­treme step af­ter his mother al­legedly scolded him not to spend qual­ity time on cell­phone. The death of Vaz has shocked many moth­ers in the city.

“My son is also spends more time on cell­phone. I dont know how to deal with it. I am very much scared to scold my son af­ter the death of Vaz, he was a gem of a boy and al­ways car­ried smiled with him,” said a mother, who lives in the same high-rise where Vaz lived with his ma­ter­nal grand­fa­ther.

An­other mother of a twoyear-old child said she never lets her son touch the cell­phone. “Though he is too young to get any mo­bile ad­dic­tion, I en­sure he is not al­lowed to play with it (mo­bile),” she said.

Matcheswalla said some­time young­sters barter with their par­ents. “In some cases we have no­ticed that few chil­dren have con­vinced their par­ents to al­low them to stick to cell­phones for few hours else they will not study. The

par­ents say they are left with no op­tion but to suc­cumb to the de­mands of their chil­dren. In such cases, the par­ents should not suc­cumb to their de­mands, in­stead con­vince them or make them aware of the reper­cus­sions of ex­ces­sive in­dul­gence of screen time,” he said.

Matcheswalla cau­tions the par­ents to ob­serve their chil­dren's be­havioural pat­terns and take some in­ter­est in the lives of their chil­dren. To en­sure the food and sleep­ing habits are not er­ratic. "Par­ents need to ob­serve the food habits, sleep­ing and study time of their chil­dren. See if any dras­tic change, whether child is be­com­ing vi­o­lent on triv­ial is­sues or has be­come reclu­sive,” Matcheswalla said.

Psy­chi­a­trists be­lieve tak­ing per­sonal in­ter­est can

Chil­dren who spend more time on cell­phone are suf­fer­ing from ’psy­chi­atric dis­or­der’. The chil­dren al­ways de­mand gadgets and if not given, they in­dulge in self de­struc­tion by in­jur­ing them­selves or in ex­treme cases they end their lives. It proves that chil­dren, with ex­ces­sive screen time, are ab­nor­mal and im­me­di­ately need coun­selling -DR YUSUF MATCHESWALLA Psy­chi­a­trist

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