3-year-old ad­dicted to mo­bile, gets coun­selling

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Nation - Priyangi.Agar­wal @times­group.com

Bareilly: Imag­ine a three­year-old ad­dicted to mo­bile phone be­ing coun­selled. When a woman brought her three­year-old son to Mann Kaksh, coun­selling cen­tre at Bareilly district hos­pi­tal, she com­plained that her child was suf­fer­ing from bed-wet­ting (enure­sis) and needed help. Later, though, it turned out that he was not go­ing to the loo be­cause he didn’t want to leave the phone for a few min­utes.

And the tod­dler, who spent around eight hours daily watch­ing ‘Do­rae­mon’ and ‘Motu Patlu’, is not alone. In an eye-opener for par­ents, Mann Kaksh has re­ceived 39 cases of children ad­dicted to mo­bile phones in two months — most of them be­long­ing to age group of 10 to 18 years, grow­ing up in a vir­tual world of social me­dia and video games.

Dr Ashish Ku­mar, psychiatri­st at district hos­pi­tal, told TOI, “In ma­jor­ity of the cases, it came to light that par­ents pro­vide mo­bile to their children at an early age to keep the kids busy so that their own work is not af­fected. This later be­comes a

The tod­dler in UP’s Bareilly avoided go­ing to the loo as he did not want to leave the phone even for a few min­utes and spent around eight hours daily watch­ing car­toons

cause of ad­dic­tion and bad be­hav­iour among children.”

On the three-year-old boy’s coun­selling, Khush Ada, clinical psy­chol­o­gist at Mann Kaksh, said, “In the case of three-year-old ad­dicted to phone, his mother would han­dover mo­bile to her child while per­form­ing house­hold chores”. Most par­ents who visit the coun­selling cen­tre com­plain of study-re­lated prob­lems and headache among children. How­ever, af­ter go­ing through case history, they learn that the root cause is mo­bile ad­dic­tion. “Children spend hours on their phones brows­ing social me­dia sites and play­ing games. They start liv­ing in a vir­tual world and ig­nor­ing studies and sleep. If a phone is taken away from them, they be­come ag­i­tated,” added Ada.

CMO Dr Vi­neet Shukla said, “Par­ents should re­strict use of phones among children. To keep kids en­gaged, par­ents should make them play in the open.” Dr Ku­mar said, “Many young peo­ple end up spend­ing hours on phones to cope up with anx­i­ety and de­pres­sion. The long hours on mo­bile dis­turb their sleep.”

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