Though this incident happened 2 months ago, it has left a big impact on me. 2 months ago on my way back to South India (running away from the cold weather 🙂 we boarded the plane all properly masked and sanitized. I had an aisle seat. Sitting diagonally to me was a family of 3. As soon as they seated themselves the parents gave their son a mobile – I guess to watch some cartoons and both opened their laptops and started working. From the looks of it, they were a well educated family talking with respect to the co passengers and air hostess. All was fine. The plane took off and I heaved a sigh of relief because I hate landings and takeoffs.
After a little while the plane hit some turbulence and we were advised not to leave our seats. Unfortunately because of the heaving of the plane the mobile fell out of the child’s hand and slid a few seats ahead. OMG – the child started screaming and shouting, demanding the phone. The parents scrambled to get it, but the phone continued playing hide and seek with the couple. All the while the kid was shrieking non stop. Quite a few passengers were looking desperate as if willing to jump out of the emergency exit( me included). Finally 1 air hostess managed to get the phone, which was immediately given to the child and finally peace reigned.
We talk of Carona teaching us many important lessons in life – how to manage in what we have ,be grateful for everything etc, but what about the negative effects it has had on the children. Mobiles – tablets are the latest friends of children, in fact I feel their life line. They have forgotten how to interact with other children- sharing – playing and an alarming number of children have eye issues. My friend was complaining about how her grandson who is in 8th class studies only when the mom is around. If mom goes out of the room he immediately starts playing games on the phone. And most of the games are teaching children violence and how to kill.
My sister took her 3 year old grandson to play in the park. He kept standing in one corner – not having the confidence to approach the other children playing there. When she told him to take the ball and play with others, all he said was satize( sanitize)- holding his hands out.It’s really sad to see the children being innocent victims of a disease which has already taken so much from humanity. Lots of children are showing extreme anger and frustration. I hope that things improve once regular schools start, but right now it’s sad to see the behavioral changes in them.
I asked my friend, who is a psychologist how to handle this problem of children not learning social skills and becoming introverts- especially the 3-6 years of age. She recommended that once the school hours were over the parents should lock away the tablet. And give it to them only when they needed to do homework. She also advised that the parents should take the children for a small walk or to the park every day. Physical activity is a must. Parents should make an effort to talk to other parents already there with their children. It’s important for the tiny tots to see the social interaction. Once back home – encourage them to read or do some coloring. Encourage them to do activities that use their imagination. I know it’s a lots of burden for the already overworked parents who find it easier to hand a mobile to the children where they can watch their favorite cartoon. But who said parenting was easy – it’s a 24/7 job from which you never retire.😊😊