Living in this modern age, where technology and devices are actually ruling the society, this is a common problem faced in almost every household today. And toddlers especially develop mobile addiction as the fatigued parents want them to be quiet for a little longer. Letting your kids play with mobile devices for a while, while you grab some rest is fine, as long they don’t get addicted. And they certainly won’t get addicted when you as parents and your family and neighbourhood spend good time by playing or engaging with them without a mobile in their hand.
Am sure you are aware of most of these common advices already. And while it is imperative to do so, your difficulty is that practically it is not happening; as you’ve mentioned in the question. So, in order to fix this issue, here’s something you can and should look forward to do:
1.Instill the highest moral values in your child. Children bring with them their personalities at birth, but you have to help them nurture good habits, fundamental moral values and virtues of balanced human behaviour so that they flourish in life. This is your duty as a parent.
So every morning after his bath, teach him to pray for world peace and salvation and pray with him so that he learns from you. Never allow your child to use mobile or other such devices during one hour before he goes to sleep. Rather, have him pray to the God within him. So many children have benefited from such prayers and have changed for the better, such that they no longer feel the need to seek other diversions of mobile, TV, etc. Playing mobile no longer remains their prime source of enjoyment then. At first your child may raise objections, but after a while as he experiences how good it feels to pray, he will respond positively.
2.Love works wonders! It is important that you get along well with your child; he should want to make friends with you. As soon as you enter your home, your little toddler should want to come and welcome you in. For this, you don’t have to pamper your child, you just treat him with love!
Never get irritated or ever hit your child, nor use bitter and ugly speech. Bitterness or irritation on your part will only serve to make him vindictive and he could harbour hatred towards you. He will become good when you give him love. Real parents are those who manage to change their children’s behaviour through love and understanding, even when the child does dreadful things. The love from parents should be such that their children would never want to leave them.
Gently run your hand over his head with love and affection in your heart and explain things to him calmly how playing outdoors can fetch him more friends and how it will help enhance his energy levels and increase his concentration power too. You keep explaining to him very gently and lovingly until your words touch your child’s heart. And when he actually listens to you and obeys your words, do let him know that you are very happy seeing him do so. This will motivate him to repeat this behaviour again and again. Keep showering your love and affection on him. You may not see the results immediately, but with love you will win him over one day.
3.Bond with your child. Have a nice chat with your child every night. Answer his questions to his satisfaction and discuss different things with him in an amicable manner. Ask him only what ‘he’ thinks about his addiction for mobile; whatever he is doing, does it seem right to him? Although a toddler, he is capable to make this judgment with understanding. He instinctively knows when he is doing something wrong. But when you start criticizing him, he will rebel and become indignant.
4.Do not use force or authority. A father should never exercise the fear of power over his child by being overly strict. In fact, your good character will have a better effect and it will leave a deeper impact on your child. Encourage him for his good traits and habits and caution him wherever he is going astray. Do whatever is required to bring him in discipline. But ensure your speech is free from the ego that uses a commanding tone. Very calmly, set rules and limits on his usage of mobile and stick to them. When his time to play with mobile is over, make him know he has to let it off now. And if he doesn’t, you gently take the mobile away when his time is up and deduct 5-15 minutes of usage from his next allocated mobile or TV usage session, to help him learn discipline.
5.Think of him as God! God resides in all of us!!! So, when you see God residing in your toddler and then speak to him, your words will reach him and he will feel delighted by the love and concern he receives from you. This is indeed a very subtle and most important matter worth understanding. If you can manage to do the same, it will be to your great benefit! Pay attention to all aspects of his development, but with your sincere deep inner intent of never hurting your child, or for that matter any living being, to the slightest extent through any of your thoughts, speech and acts, for there is God residing in each one. Even a ferocious tiger is pacified in the presence of a person having such intent.
6.Do your job and leave the result to Nature. Put in your best efforts in what you do, but with a sound understanding that the results are beyond your control. Scold him if you have to or else he will think whatever he did was correct as his father has condoned it, and eventually, your household will be in ruins. Therefore, play your role convincingly but dramatically (with all the love within you), just as you would in a play where the audience believes everything to be real. But when the actor goes off stage, he knows that it was only a play, it was not real.
7.Do not abandon your child to fate, ever. If you abandon him, there will be no hope for him. The responsibility to improve your child lies with you as you are bound by your duty towards your child. But if you are finding it difficult to do so, at a suitable point, entrust the development of your child’s character to the Enlightened One, who is adept in the art of moulding human beings with all love, but without clinging, pampering or spoiling them.