(a) What steps parents can take to stop such a new and pervasive kind of menace due to the unrestricted use of computers and mobile phones?
- In the contemporary world, we suffer from information explosion and are consumed by the influence of technology where the rational mind takes over the emotional mind.
- As in the above case overuse of mobile phones is having a detrimental effect on children. As children have low maturity levels and have impressionable brains thus vulnerable to distractions.
- Thus for disciplining children, parents have to take both carrot and stick approach as well as educating and creating awareness about the side effects of mobile phones.
- “Carrots” are privileges that have to be earned or incentives that will motivate them to do complete their tasks. These rewards are such as watching television, playing a computer game, or going outside to play with their friends.
- “Sticks” on the other hand, are a punishment or disciplinary actions for work not done or when a child disobeys his or her parents. This punishment does not mean caning the child.
- It is about emplacing the fear that will keep them away from the distractions.
- Apart from that parents should make sure that child has access to age-appropriate online sites which do not promote unethical behavior or violence.
- They should also observe the child’s behavior closely to get to know about any unusual changes like moodiness, less or no communication, lack of interest in studies and falling grades.
(b) What is the importance of “forced discipline” in this case?
- Teenage is the most vulnerable time in the life of a person; as the person is struggling with identity issues and still trying to figure out who they are. This makes them especially susceptible to online crime and emotional abuse, such as the Blue Whale Challenge. Thus forced discipline is needed.
- Discipline teaches a person to follow rules and may involve punishment for breaking disciplinary rules and, more importantly, rewards for following the discipline.
- In the case of children forced discipline is important as children are not that mature to follow path of self-discipline.
- But the parents should not be authoritative, parents should follow flexibility and collaborative problem solving attitude with the children to teach them the importance of discipline in life so that they can move for self-discipline with the time.
(c) How can discipline be sustained for a long time without discontent with the subjects?
- Discipline is important but in the long run carrot and stick, the policy may become ineffective.
- To sustain the awareness, parents should talk to their children more often. Explore the online world together and engage in interesting activities demonstrating ethical and safe online behavior.
- They should act as a role model to a child.
- If a child becomes an addict to computer games or the online world, in such cases, it becomes important to make the person feel that help is available without judgment.
- Encouraging expressing one’s feelings either in spoken words, a letter or a journal helps in releasing emotions. This will help the person move a step away from harm.
- Also, spreading awareness about how to report abuse online, taking screenshots or saving IP addresses as proof will let them know that help is available.
- As adults, parents should play a more active without trying to invade their privacy or threaten them with dire consequences.