This Lock-down is perfect bliss for Kids and teenagers.
They can spend extra time on the computer, and get away with it, claiming to be a School Online Class.
A 17-Year old teenager from Punjab did the same kind of gimmick with his parents. Claiming to be studying online, the kid went on to do what he liked the most- play video games. But, with this case, the cost of the trick came at the price of Rupees 16 lakh. The kid’s addiction to the popular PUBG game, made him use his parent’s bank credentials to make in-app purchases for the game. Being a teenager, the boy cleverly deleted the bank alerts, both on phone and email, after making those purchases. The boy emptied his parent’s savings, Mother’s Provident Fund account, and his Minor child account, all to buy tournament passes, artillery, and version upgrades. All this came to an end, when the father of the boy randomly checked on his bank statement, to plan his finances during the pandemic.
The parents shocked to review their depleted funds, approached the local police station for help. But, little could be done to reverse these payments. Regretting to have trusted their son, the parents now have very few options. They need to start afresh, saving money for their family’s future exigencies. Meanwhile, as a disciplinary punishment, the son is now made to work in a local scooter repair shop. All gadget access, including for studies, has been revoked.
This is not the first instance of kids depleting their parents’ finances to satiate their video game addiction. There have been previous BBC stories of how many kids in the United Kingdom made iOS and Android App Purchases. However, with this Lockdown, the instances are seeing a stark rise.
Love your Kid. But don’t trust them as much.
Mobile Games and Pornography are two things that are keeping children and teenagers engaged during the Lockdown. While parents are working overtime from home, there is very little monitoring of children’s behavior. The silence of the kid, deeply engaged with his gadget, is considered a boon, given the enormous work the parents have to complete and the distraction-free work environment they require. However, not everything that keeps children engaged is right for them. There is a steady rise in destructive online applications that are ruining a child’s time, their moral values, and most of their cognitive acumen. So, try to keep a check on your child’s behavior, especially their gadget hours.
How can you monitor your Child’s Online Time?
It may require you to put on a detective hat, but try to proactively check on your mobile and computer device cookies and page history, every day before you retire to bed. Also, enable password-authenticated ‘Restrictions’ on your iOS and Android apps. You can also set-up master accounts on XBOX, Play Station and Nintendo Consoles, to restrict children from making crazy in-app purchases. One of the best ways to keep your child from making online purchases is to ensure that your bank or credit card details are not set up on your devices.
Google’s Family Link App is a great way to harbor healthy digital habits for your children. It is a trusted and well-renowned app that lets you keep track of your children’s online time.
You can also use renowned applications like mSpy, The Spy Bubble, and The Phone Sheriff to track your kid’s digital behaviors.
You must keep a ‘SILENT’ track of what your child is up to during his gadget hour.
If you find something “INAPPROPRIATE” do not explode with your findings or discipline your kids explicitly. The moment you declare your findings, kids will be smart enough to find other avenues to continue their practices, but without your knowledge.
So, while you keep track of their digital behaviors, be as much naively silent about it. We are no parenting experts, but if you would like to change any inappropriate digital behaviors, try to conceptualize alternatives that will have positive and constructive development on them. Contented Child and Well-Being is a great place to find online resources about child well-being and parenting. We are not paid to write about them here. These references are linked only for your best interest!
Too Much Online Class is a definite Red Flag: Watch Closer
A recent study claims that over 65% of Indian kids as showing signs of digital addiction during this Lockdown. Children are unable to stay away from their mobile phones or computers, even for 30 minutes. Many also exhibit mood swings, irritability, laments, and cries signs typical to that of addictions.
While primary children up to standard Five, need parents to help with their online class, the older children above grade six are quite independent about it. This would mean that parents have to interfere very little with their children’s online schedules and classwork assignments. Many of the older children have been taking these situations to their leverage. Kids spending too much time on the computer or mobile phone, rebut calls for food and daily routines with just one-liner “I’m in an Online Class.”
One mother is frustrated with the school for keeping an online class up to 9:30 p.m in the night. “We all are already having a tough time with a Lockdown. In this, my son, a class VII student, has to attend classes skipping dinner and sleep,” she regrets. Little does she know that the kid is tricking her. If your child is someone like him claiming “Online Classes” as an excuse to respond to all your calls, go up to the device monitor and check for yourself if their claims are true. Don’t let love for your child blind you. Trust only what you see.
This Lockdown is truly a time of crisis. In this time of uncertinity our innocent children are vulnerable to the ugly side of the digital world. They know not what they are doing. But we as adults know the scale at which the ugly digital world can have a lasting negative impact on our little ones. Official work and household responsibilities can be overwhelming, leaving very little room for us to spend time with children.
But, if we don’t care for our children, who else will?
So crave some time for children. First, to spend quality time with them. Second to monitor their digital habits.