What Parents Can Do About Their Child’s Mobile Addiction?

By: Patitpavan Das

A smartphone is not a pacifier, and should not be used as one. My nephew is only five years old but refuses to eat without a smartphone in hand, to play some silly game on. It seems he was given a phone to play with when he was only a nine-month-old baby. Old habits die hard? Indeed!       

mobile addiction
Mobile addiction is rising in children

How mobile addiction affects children?

So what is wrong in giving cell phones to kids if that will keep them busy and engaged, and thereby avoid all the hullabaloo they would otherwise create? A perfect godsend to relieve the poor parents of their babysitting blues, isn’t it? Not quite. Cell phones or mobile phones emit microwave radiation, also known as Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Radiation. A study conducted in 2018 revealed that a child’s brain absorbs 2-3 times more radiation than an adult’s because kids’ brain tissues are more absorbent, and their skulls thinner. It was found that the younger the child, the greater the risk of cancer and brain tumors. Children who spend long amounts of time on cell phones are likely to have ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), and emotional or behavioral problems, it was found.

mobile addiction

The dopamine hit the child gets from videos and games on the mobile is so addictive that the fun of story books, comics, colors and crayons, toys, friends, and playing in the open air – all pale in comparison, and appear boring. Spending too much time on mobile phones can affect the proper physical, emotional, and mental growth of the child, leading to depression, obesity, and aversion to studies. I know a teenage girl who is so smitten by the K-pop band BTS, that she lost all interest in school. Her parents now regret that they allowed her to use a smartphone ever at all. Naysayers may argue in favor of controls like limiting screen time and monitoring online activity, but due to the ubiquitous and ever-evolving nature of technology and the fact that a smart kid can easily hoodwink his elders into believing that he is using it for study while actually misusing the device, the risk persists.


And what about exposing children to caustic adult content available one search away on the smartphone? When times are so bad that you need to guard your ward even against mainstream cinema which is so corrosive, what to speak of harmful content one click away on the mobile? As a result, if a six-year-old can shoot his school teacher, causing life-threatening injuries, like at a Virginia elementary school earlier this year, and boys under eleven abuse a toddler, where are we headed as a civilization? Does this ring alarm bells? Good! Because it is high time we went back to our roots, to scripture that shepherded our forefathers.

How to get rid of mobile addiction?

The Bhagavatam narrates the history of great kings like Dhruva and Prahlada, who even at the tender age of five years exhibited unparalleled devotion to Lord Vishnu. Prahlada was born to the atheistic king Hiranyakasipu, who tried to train him up likewise. But thanks to Saint Narada’s association, he became the most celebrated boy-devotee of Lord Vishnu. Prince Dhruva insulted by his stepmother vowed to acquire more wealth than his own father. He thus worshiped Lord Vishnu guided by Saint Narada and earned everlasting fame as one of His greatest devotees. These stalwarts are eternal associates of the Lord of course, and only aid Him in His pastimes in this world, but the importance of saintly association in their early lives cannot be overstated. Then we have the example of Srila Prabhupada himself, who even from his very childhood worshipped deities of Radha-Krishna, and conducted chariot festivals for Their pleasure. Prabhupada fondly remembers the influence his devout father had on him during his childhood, and how he was raised in a devotional atmosphere.

dhruva narada blessings

It is said sangat sanjayate kamah, one’s desires develop according to one’s association. So if we associate with drunkards, we become a drunkard, and if we associate with saints, we become saintly. Thus ISKCON temples act as beacons of light in helping steer young minds in the right direction. One automatically imbibes devotional fervor even by just visiting the temples of the Lord regularly. Then if he takes advantage of the devotee association, he progresses on the path of liberation. The guardians of young children can also create this type of ambience in their own homes. They can sit together and chant the Hare Krishna mantra, read the Bhagavad-gita, and perform some simple little worship. That would go a long way in saving the little ones from the onslaught of mobile mania. So, if parents become devotees, kids emulate them and can become devotees also. And unless parents stop being mobile addicts themselves, they should not expect their kids to become anything better.

ISKCON Samskriti, a cultural and educational initiative of ISKCON Bangalore is aiming at enhancing values and life skills in children through educational and culture-related activities. For more details please visit iskconsamskriti.org

7 thoughts on “What Parents Can Do About Their Child’s Mobile Addiction?

  1. Prathibha

    Well written relevant information. Need to act for the well being of our kids.

  2. Nanda S D

    Very apt article for present situation in children world.
    Taking help from bhagavatam for helping children growth n development..reflects strength of vedoc culture.beautyfully hand written by Author.
    Hare krishna!

  3. Rafat

    Very informative, touching the core subject, Appreciated… Well written…

  4. Gowri V Mirji

    one’s desires develop according to one’s association
    ರಂಗ ನಿನ್ನ ಕೊಂಡಾಡುವ ಮಂಗಳಾತ್ಮರ
    ಸಂಗಸುಖವಿತ್ತು ಕಾಯೊ ಕರುಣಾಸಾಗರ
    Well said. Good information given.

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