Our son is 3 years old and addicted to mobile, he need to play games, or he will cry and make fuss. My wife give her phone and he is always starring down at it. To make him quiet coz he make a lot of mess, she give him mobile. He has tv open infront of him but still want mobile and if someone change tv channel he start crying.

I am not at all in favour of it. It irritate me, my wife says that I don’t play with him or anyone of his brother as they are busy but how can I fix this issue?

I hate my son starring down all time on mobile, home, car or visiting. If it’s not her mobile it’s his granny . From the moment he wakes up he wants it.

  • does the granny live with you? Just out of curiousity how much time does your 3 year old spend each day with mom and with granny? How many other children are in the house and what ages are they? Perhaps you can put an expectation on the older children to spend a little time with their younger brother as well as the tips I suggested below. – Adam Heeg Jun 24 at 18:27
  • @AdamHeeg he spends few hours in her house, evening and night we take him, as we both are working. As granny was in ICU for 3 months. He had unlimited access to mobile phone coz the family was in shock. He is our only child however biggest influencer r kids like my wife uncle who’s kids are what my kid is now, they r proper addict to tv, phone or psp. They have 5 kids n they all r zombies. I truly hate it, the mobile is like a norm, I rant so much coz I have issues coz I thought I was invisible to issues but at my age I am almost blind. I want to teach my son to enjoy life . – Nofel Jun 24 at 22:13
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    sounds difficult. Speak peacefully about your concerns, and remember that as he get's older you can demonstrate and share with him what you define as 'enjoying life' and perhaps win him over as the years go by. – Adam Heeg Jun 25 at 14:41

It sounds like your son is given a mobile phone or put in front of the TV because the adults around him don't find the time to engage with him. Your problem is only fixable if you fix this.

You need to provide an alternative to the mobile and TV. Spend more time playing with your son, reading to your son, looking at picture books with him etc. This may be outright boring for you depending on the picture books and the games you play, but it's part of the job. Memory games where you have to match pairs of tiles abound and might soon have him win against you (at first, you can let him win). Also, there are some picture books that are at least somewhat engaging for adults, too (I liked the ones where you have to find stuff like three frying pans, two parrots, seven tennis balls etc in a chaotic picture...). Also, I liked answering questions my kids had about the stories we looked at together; the interesting thing was to find explanations for somewhat difficult concepts that a three-year-old would understand - quite a challenge.

Find a place where he can play outside; if you live in the countryside, find a place that has lots of dirt/sand and water and take him there (and watch him - kids can drown in a few inches of water, but the combination of dirt and water is unbeatable in keeping them occupied). Find climbable rocks or trees or a playground that has something to climb. Encourage him to try things he hasn't done before; if he's scared, try something else for a while and try again later.

Make contact with families which have kids (playgrounds provide ample opportunities) and see if your son wants to play with one of them. This may or may not work at three years old; some kids play together at that age, others don't (mine mostly didn't).

Change your own behaviour towards your phone. Immediately stop using it in front of your son. Make sure your wife doesn't, either. This is feasible, even if it's hard. Don't turn on the TV when he's present except maybe for a small amount of time (I'd say 15-20 minutes, enough for a cartoon or two or part of some educational program, maybe involving nature and animals - I don't see any value in letting three-year-olds watch TV, but the American Academy of Pediatrics is somewhat more lenient and recommends no more than 2 hours a day for preschoolers, which I think is way too much) at a fixed time of day, so it becomes a routine and he learns he can't expect to watch TV at all other times.

This might not help you much now, but in hindsight, the time where your kid is three, four, five years old really passes by very quickly. Once he starts kindergarden and school, you'll have much less opportunities to spend time with him. You won't get a second chance at this, so think about what's more important now. You'll get more free time again in a few years, but for now, you're still the single biggest influence on your son, and spending time with him, reading to him, animating him to play outdoors in an engaging environment etc has a host of positive consequences for his development, and will strengthen your relationship with him.

  • I really like ur answer. I want to add where I am now, too many cars r parked in the street and football becomes dangerous or anything coz car keep coming and going. I reflected and noticed my frustration coz of this and I admit I don’t know what to do inside home expect to use my mobile or laptop as well. – Nofel Jun 21 at 22:13
  • It's more difficult to find a place to play in an urban setting, but see if you can find a park or a playground that's reachable, ideally on foot, or maybe with public transportation. Maybe you even have a zoo somewhere close? That makes for a great afternoon. For indoor activities apart from reading, we've had great success building towers and castles with colorful wooden building blocks, and duplos (the large variant of LEGO). Playing with marbles is also fun, but watch for choking hazards. Playdough is also great (but messy...). – Pascal Jun 21 at 22:22


I. Understand the dynamics of power and control in parenting
II. Learn the concerns of children and technology
III. Learn how to replace technology with parenting
IV. Have a plan to get everyone on the same page

I. Understand the dynamics of power and control in parenting
It is imperative that you don't invert the power structure in your home. If your kids rule the roost now you will be in a horrible situation when they become teenagers. Don't let your parenting be ruled by a fear of tantrums, rather aim for setting a standard that the kids learn tantrums never work and thus THEY WILL QUIT DOING THEM (almost completely). He is not in charge, and crying should not teach him he can get his way.

Using the SuperNanny as a reference webmd lists these time tested rules:
Set Clear Limits
Set Clear Consequences
Be Consistent and Predictable
Be a Good Example
Avoid Reinforcing Undesireable Behavior
Praise Good Behavior

II. Learn the concerns of children and technology

Technology too many times is used as a "Shut-up tool" which is detrimental to the child and their relationship to the parents. I quote:

the use of mobile media to occupy young children during daily routines such as errands, car rides, and eating out is becoming a common behavioral regulation tool: what the industry terms a “shut-up toy.” Because young children need to develop internal mechanisms of self-regulation, it needs to be determined whether mobile device use, although helpful in the short term, could be detrimental to later social-emotional outcomes when used as the principal way in which children are taught to calm themselves down.

Read more about technology addiction here.

There should not be a game, show, or education app that you allow your child access to that you have not already done yourself and vetted. Not only has the very scary momo been spliced into episodes of Pepa the Pig , but there are plenty of apps and games that one person may approve of for their child that another does not. Technology devices should not be an alternative to parenting and actually take more time and effort for a parent to do their due diligence before handing over their child to an app, game or video.

III. Learn how to replace technology with parenting

Spend time and communicate more with your child. Put away the things you want to do and prioritize your child as the thing you want to spend your time on. Your side projects, hobbies, down time, all that is put on hold for the next few years. Failinig to do this has grave consequences which many parents of adult children can attest to.

One core idea is to simply create quality communication with your child. Learn how to have discussions and to teach them to have discussions. Some good advice can be found here.

You can also have simple fun. Here is a list that was written for 2 year olds and under, but I read through them and many of them sound fun for me and my 9 year old still does some of this stuff, so don't feel weird about it.

IV. Have a plan to get everyone on the same page

Use adult social skills to discuss the current situation, your concerns, and your goals for change using the above information. Treat your wife and Granny as co-workers who you must have on board for a successful project (your childs transformation into a functional adult). Address their concerns, ask for their input, and realize you can't be successful without them!

  • Oh I made mistake. It’s granny not nanny – Nofel Jun 21 at 22:15
  • As for who’s in charge my Mrs say I m hard on him and if u r too hard he will grow up to be scared. So I don’t push upon my son although it can be frustrating as he sometimes totally ignores until I say “I say I m calling mama”, or “let’s go to washroom” – Nofel Jun 21 at 22:18
  • There's a difference between being too hard and being consistent, and in charge. Kids learn to be scared when a) parents are unpredictable and b) when punishments far exceed their crimes. The contrary is true when parents enforce predictable and sensible rules - then kids learn that the world is understandable, and can be navigated. What you should refrain from doing is punish your son too harshly (e.g. never in anger) for wrongdoing. Find a punishment which fits the crime, comes swiftly and also has an end in sight. Don't punish him for something he didn't know was wrong (explain instead). – Pascal Jun 21 at 22:43
  • "He is not in charge, and crying should not teach him he can get his way." +1 for this. YOU are the parent. If you lived somewhere where it was 32 degrees F/0 degrees C on a regular basis, and your child cried every time you put them in a jacket, does that mean that they don't have to wear a jacket? – John Doe Jun 21 at 22:53

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