There was a time when disconnection of cable TV by parents would herald the study period for board exams in Gujarat. Now, with children hooked to mobile phones 24×7, many jittery parents are approaching psychiatrists for counsel on weaning their children away from phones! Psychiatrists in the city say that they are seeing a number of harried parents consulting them on how to de-addict their children from mobile phones as social media, web movies, and serials continue to beckon them away from books. With CBSE and GSHSEB class X and XII board exams slated to begin from March 9 and March 15 respectively, parents are dragging their kids for de-addiction crash courses.“A class XII science student was brought to me for a quick-fix for his addiction to the mobile phone which he is compelled to check every 20 minutes,“ said psychiatrist Dr Hansal Bhachech.“He is hooked to the phone and is constantly distracted by posts on social media or a must-watch web-series. He also confesses to using the phone to clear his doubts with his friends and to exchange notes. His parents, however, are completely horrified that he is not able to focus and fear his grades will suffer.“ Bhachech said that he has seen over a dozen such cases in the past month.
“We counsel parents that pressurizing children to completely giSiddhar ve up the mobile phone at the last minute may yield contrary results,“ said Bhachech. “In fact, the best option at the last minute is to fix a specific time one hour in afternoon and evening during the break -to recharge themselves without feeling deprived.“ The mobile addiction is an emerging problem not only for middle and upper-middle class families but also among those belonging to lower socio-economic strata as data wars have spurred mobile phone addiction in kids across social strata.
“We got three cases of parents bringing their child ren addicted to mobile phones over the past ten da ys,“ said the he ad of the depart ment of psychi atry at LG Hospi tal, Dr Bhavesh awala. “The only Lakdawala. “The only advice we give to parents is to ration the use, as taking away mobile phones will only invite rebellion.