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Parents crucial in stemming gadget addiction among children - psychiatrist

Last update: 26/08/2019
"Children learn from the example set by parents. So, parents need to change first. There are parents who spend time on their mobile phones even after they get back from work, and it's unfair to expect teachers or non-governmental organisations to change their children," Dr Zul Azlin Razali told Bernama. --fotoBERNAMA
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 26 (Bernama) -- Parents must ensure proper use and a time limit on their electronic gadgets to prevent the influence of gadget addiction among children.

Psychiatrist and senior medical lecturer at the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences of Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM), Dr Zul Azlin Razali, said gadget addiction is hazardous because they can contribute to mental illness and should be prevented during childhood.

"Children learn from the example set by parents. So, parents need to change first.

"There are parents who spend time on their mobile phones even after they get back from work, and it's unfair to expect teachers or non-governmental organisations to change their children," he told Bernama when met after 'Bumi Manusia’ event, here, recently.

He added that fostering children to interact and socialise on a daily basis is one of the main steps that parents can take.

Dr Zul Azlin said besides limiting the use of gadgets to no more than two hours, parents should also encourage children to do physical activities such as cycling, running, and playing with their toys.

According to Dr Zul Azlin, one of the main problems of gadget addiction is 'phubbing' - a tendency to focus on gadgets rather than interacting with people who are in front of their eyes.

“With too much focus on gadgets, we have lost a lot of human communication, which includes body language, facial expressions, and voice intonation.

"That's the humanity we have lost today. When humanity is gone, mental illness and other social ills creep in,” he said.

He also said that the attitude of always wanting the recognition and acceptance of others, found especially among teenagers, is closely linked to today's new media development.

“A small number of them (teenagers) are trying to attract attention because they want to stay relevant in the social network. It is not their nature, but the new media has shaped them as a generation that always seeks recognition and acceptance from others,” he said.

-- BERNAMA



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