• Tue. Dec 5th, 2023

\”If you don\’t give me a mobile phone, you\’ll jump off the building.\” The truth behind children\’s obsession with mobile phones is thought-provoking…

Two days ago, I read an appalling piece of information on Weibo: A doctor on night shift treated two children who couldn\’t get over their thoughts at night: one committed self-harm and the other committed suicide. Xiao Meng, a 14-year-old boy from Ningbo, was playing a game. His father asked him to stop playing. Unexpectedly, Xiao Meng turned around and walked into the kitchen. He picked up a kitchen knife and slashed his left wrist six times, until the bones were broken. Fortunately, the child\’s life was not in danger. Another 10-year-old child was not so lucky. His aunt did not let him play with his mobile phone. As a result, the child jumped off the building without saying a word. Rescue efforts failed and he died. The doctor who received the diagnosis said with great sadness: The child\’s mental health is really more than just talk. I tried my best to raise my children to such a big age, but ended up committing suicide at the slightest disagreement. Looking back on what happened, I can\’t figure out how the two children could be so extreme. It is worth reflecting on the fact that tragedies that have occurred because of \”not giving mobile phones\” have happened frequently in recent years. On May 9 this year, a 13-year-old girl in Hefei had a big argument with her mother because she was playing with her mobile phone. In a fit of rage, she jumped off the balcony. On September 17 last year, a 15-year-old girl in Hangzhou jumped from the 19th floor after an argument with her parents over playing with her mobile phone and died on the spot. Also in September last year, a high school girl in Anhui jumped into a river in anger because her mother confiscated her mobile phone because she was playing too late. There is also an 8-year-old girl in Chengdu who jumped off the 21st floor because her family did not allow her to watch TV. When did mobile phones become so magical? Let young lives live and die for it? In addition to these extreme cases, many families are still engaging in battles for mobile phones. If the mobile phone is the trigger of the tragedy, then what is the root cause? In the case at the beginning of the article, the attending doctor mentioned a scene that made him very uncomfortable: during the ward rounds every morning, almost all the children were immersed in playing with their mobile phones. What is even more frustrating is that most of their parents are also playing with their mobile phones. . With adults so obsessed, it’s no wonder the kids are. There was a study that found that children will start to show great interest in their mother\’s mobile phone when they are infants. Many mothers often sleep with their babies in one hand while constantly scrolling through their phones with the other. For a long time, the mother\’s action has been deeply recorded in the child\’s mind. Seeing their mother staring at the phone, crying and laughing, will naturally create jealousy and curiosity about the phone in the children\’s hearts. Once she has the ability, she will find a way to take the phone away from her mother. From the initial curiosity to addiction, children\’s behavior is often driven by adults. Xiaoni, the mother in the group, once talked about such an incident. Because she is busy at work, she often comes off work. She also has to pay attention to the information on her mobile phone, process it at any time, and work at any time. One weekend, her son came over and wanted her to tell her about picture books. Because she was busy and tired, she shied away from her son, saying, \”Mom has to work, it\’s up to you whether it\’s okay or not.\” The son couldn\’t resist his reluctant mother, and left with an unhappy look on his face, playing with his toys on his own. I thought it would be over, but a few minutes later, my son came over and said, Mom, I want to watch \”Paw Patrol\”. Seeing her son\’s pitiful and expectant look, her heart was hurt. She is also the firstOnce I realized that it was not the child who actively chose the mobile phone, but the adult who pushed the child away from him and towards the mobile phone. Without anyone to accompany you, your mobile phone naturally replaces an adult and becomes the \”nanny\” taking care of your children. Adults are getting busier and busier, and children are becoming more and more lonely and dependent on mobile phones. What needs to be vigilant is that the age at which children are exposed to mobile phones is getting younger and younger. Data from the first domestic children’s Internet safety research report (2016) shows that among children aged 3-6, the mobile phone exposure rate has reached 91%; the usage behavior of children aged 9-10 in primary school is similar to that of adults. What exactly do mobile phones satisfy children? Like games and television, mobile phones have their own addictive properties. Interactive timeliness: When you press a key, the phone will respond accordingly. Compared with parents who have called countless times, the feedback from the mobile phone is unparalleled and timely. Controlling children are always \”suppressed\” by their parents in the real world due to their relative weakness. The mobile phone is different. It provides a virtual world. In this environment, children can give instructions to the mobile phone, and the mobile phone will completely \”obey\”. Mobile phones can paralyze children\’s thinking, and can also give children a sense of value and control that they don\’t have in the real world. It is inevitable that children will fall deeply into such tempting things. On the one hand, we enjoy the convenience that mobile phones bring to us, but on the other hand, we are afraid that our children will become slaves of mobile phones. As parents, we are always in a dilemma. Many people think that as long as they don’t show their children mobile phones, confiscating them and forcing them to monitor them, we can apply the same tactics that our parents have imposed on us to our children. However, practice has proven that this does not work. There is a term in psychology called the \”forbidden fruit effect\”, also known as the \”Adam and Eve effect\”, which means that the more forbidden something is, the more children want to get it. Children have strong curiosity and rebellious psychology. The more parents prevent their children from playing with mobile phones, the more children will want to play. So what we can do is not to guard against it, but to take it step by step. My friend Ah Huang also fell into this trap. In order to prevent his daughter from looking at her mobile phone less, she got a headache. Speaking of which, my daughter can also read books and play with toys, but soon she starts clamoring to play with her mobile phone. You have to play while taking the subway; you have to play after eating; you have to play before going to bed. If I don\’t give it, I cry so hard that I feel like I\’m about to lose my breath. Ah Huang is a down-to-earth person. At first, he thought that this must be corrected, so he had a head-on confrontation with his daughter: He tried to reason with her, but insisted on \”correcting\” her daughter\’s thinking. The result was a complete defeat, and there was nothing like feathers between mother and daughter. Only then did she realize that reasoning with a child who was anxious and angry was of no use. Later, she finally changed her strategy. For example, divert attention. When her children want to play with their mobile phones, she tries to take her downstairs to play games, do sports, or read books or draw. Although sometimes it doesn\’t work, there are also times when the child doesn\’t resist and is willing to play with her. In this way, the number of times children play with mobile phones every day is greatly reduced. Another example is to agree on a time to play on the mobile phone. When her daughter is in a good mood, she will chat with her about the time she spends playing on her mobile phone. From forcing my daughter to asking for advice, although I had to hold back my temper at first, I later saw that my daughterAs her son progressed, she became more and more accepting of this method. The daughter no longer feels that her mother controls her, and the communication between the two becomes smoother and smoother. In the case of mobile phones, it has to be said that parents need to bear more responsibilities. Rather than children who can’t let go of their phones, there are more parents who can’t let go of their phones, either at work, playing games, Taobao, or watching TV shows… A 12-year-old girl in Hangzhou lost her temper after her mother played with her phone. I was grumpy, didn\’t care about my younger brother, and sadly wrote a letter to my mother, which resonated with countless people. I think of the incident in which my two daughters were sucked into the sea because I wanted to post photos of my children on WeChat Moments, and now I still have lingering fears. Children\’s behavior is actually a mirror of their parents. Once, when I was putting my child to bed, I couldn\’t help but scroll through my phone. My 2-year-old daughter suddenly turned off my phone and said angrily: Mom, can you stop looking at your phone? I just realized what a bad example I had set. Many of the problems with our children that annoy us are often more serious in ourselves. Just because, when facing children, we become disciplinarians, we subconsciously ignore ourselves and only see the children\’s flaws. If you just stick to the surface and accuse your children of playing with mobile phones from the moral high ground, then the children will feel aggrieved and resentful, and will inevitably use extreme behavior to \”punish\” their parents. Behind every tragedy, the truth is always heartbreaking. After every tragedy, it cannot be eliminated. We often talk about protecting our children, but we neglect that the best protection for our children is not customized armor and shirts, but a positive and strong heart. The most important thing is that the child\’s psychology is comforted.

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