Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Raising a baby in a smartphone/gadget addiction household.

In today's Millennial age, technology is everything. Smartphones, internet on the go, 3D Printing, Instant Chatting and so on; our world revolves around gadgets.

I'm not saying it's a bad thing. I myself am a internet keeda and so very used to making my phone my newspaper, constantly checking my phone for notifications, mailbox for emails and the sort.

But what happens when a bundle of joy arrives at your home? A baby needs a lot of love and attention. A baby needs to be constantly monitored, specially once they start rolling, crawling and attempting to walk.

Of-course thanks to the very same technology I was referring to, there are now baby monitors and other gizmo available for you to monitor and see what your baby is doing. But some of us still prefer the old school way to be there for the baby physically, or have a relative or baby sitter do it.

Now thanks (not) to the easy access of internet due to 2G, 3G, Wifi; everyone is on social media and instant chatting platforms. Yes, be it my parents, in-laws or even grandparents; they're all on Facebook, Whatsapp etc.

Let's take a quick poll. Do you check your phone the first thing when you get up in the morning? Do you check your phone the last thing before you hit the sack at night? When your phone 'pings', is there an obsessive urge to check the notification come what may? If the answer to all these question is a bang on YES, then you my friend are a Nomophobic too.

So when I was blessed with a baby, my biggest challenge was not the sleepless nights or erratic routines. It was resisting the urge to check my phone again and again. Honest confession, I was pretty careless in the beginning. The first 3-4 months when my baby did not move around a lot, things were very comfortable. But once he started rolling, dragging himself and eventually crawling; he would charge straight towards my phone or laptop. That attractive, fancy bright screen!

So many times have I had to keep the phone away in his vicinity. If I take my eyes off him for 2 seconds to check my phone, there will be a foreign object in his mouth or he will be 2 meters away from where he was. I know this makes me sound like a bad mother, but it was something I simply could not control.

You know what brought me back to my senses? When I observed someone else do the same and felt this uncontrollable rage. My mother-in-law is newly addicted to whatsapp, and it happened a couple of times that she was so engrossed in reading and responding to the group chats that my son bumped his head. Or when my sister-in-law was too busy snap-chatting and he again bumped his head into something, again.

I then realized how ignored my baby must be feeling when I also do it and how dangerous it is. In addition to that, what is he going to learn? When he grows up and demands his own gaming console or mobile and is glued to it for hours, who would I be to complain?

My work life demands me to be in front of a PC all the time, but what I do now is try not to work in front of him. If I'm working from home, I do it from another room. I have gained some self control and do not require to check my phone the first thing in the morning, or last thing at night. Still working on it to probably not check it when he is up, at all.

When I'm playing with him I keep my phone away, unless I'm taking a selfie with him or there is an urgent call. This even allows me to focus on him completely. I'm pretty sure before that he must be thinking that this alien object in his mom's hands is stealing away his thunder!

Why am I sharing this? So that if you're like me, or know someone like me, you might get inspired and learn the lesson without doing it the hard way and having guilt pangs. If you're expecting a baby soon, maybe you can already start working on the anti-addiction regime. And if you're having troubles with your addiction, please get in touch, maybe I can help?

If you want to read more interesting parenting tips, this is one good place to read: https://www.rewardme.in/family/child-and-you

I am participating in the ‘Ready For Rewards’ activity for Rewardme in association with BlogAdda.


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