Is excessive time spent on mobiles hurting children?
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