PETALING JAYA: A parents’ group has warned using electronic devices to keep children quiet will destroy the bond between parents and their kids.
Speaking to FMT, Parent Action Group for Education (PAGE) chairman Noor Azimah Rahim said the majority of parents seemed content to allow such devices to act as modern-day child minders.
“I saw it happening in front of my eyes,” she said. “Instead of bonding with the child, a parent gave a child, who was possibly two or three years old, a mobile phone just so the child would keep quiet.
“You will have to face the consequences at some point, and by then it may be too late.”
Azimah said apart from creating a rift between parent and child, the consequences would also include a lack of soft skills and an addiction to electronic devices.
“There are cases where the child is so addicted that you have to send the child to a psychiatrist because when the parent tries to take the device away, the child gets angry.
“But perhaps the most unfortunate of all is that you can no longer see any love between parent and child.”
Azimah said while she understood the importance of teaching today’s children to be tech-savvy, it was also important to strike a balance.
“There has to be a balance and the parent has to find that right balance through trial and error.”
Azimah’s comments come after the Suriana Welfare Society said parents who failed to monitor their children’s internet activities were committing a punishable offence.
Suriana executive director Scott Wong told FMT it was crucial that parents keep a strict watch over their children’s movements on the internet, saying it was unfortunate that many parents were still not serious about this.
Azimah agreed with Wong, saying only a small number of parents took the trouble to monitor their children’s internet activities.
“They trust that their children don’t do things they’re not supposed to, but the children do. Some parents refuse to believe their children actually surf porn.”