Thursday, September 18, 2008

mobile manners

Are you a cell phone mom, teacher or a caretaker? Probably, you need to check your manners while children are around.

Anywhere, at playgrounds, clubs, shopping malls, jogging parks, schools - at home, in kitchen - almost everywhere, we find moms, dads and even caretakers, talking or sending text messages or fiddling with their cell phones - be it nokia, iphone, blackberry and now will be, Google Android! Children are watching and listening too. Such behavior can have serious consequences for children. It's a good way to multi-task but children lag in their development as to their speech skills, manners and even attitude. As adults feverishly fiddle cell phones to answer phone, text or emailing, they often miss to remain mentally present with the child. They are distracted to the point that sometimes, they are hyper with the child and tend to neglect him.

Children today are growing up with cellphones, ipods, video games, computers and all the latest technology. They've a feel for it and so, you are sure to give them a choice to pick up their own personal tech things when you are so fondly using the cool gadgets. As such, a research says, children whose mothers frequently used a cellphone during pregnancy were 80 percent more likely to have emotional, social and behavioral problems, including hyperactivity. These same women use cell phones even after the birth. The researches found that significant levels of electromagnetic radiation from the phones did penetrate the human body, and argued that until more research was done the gadgets should be considered dangerous. children's brains were more susceptible to the radiation than those of adults, and advised parents to ban younger children from using the phones regularly.

However, this is not to be if parents themselves do not understand the seriousness of it.

As for children using cell phones in schools, I hear some schools this year are putting a ban of using cell phones and ipods in schools. Linton-Stockton High School  have taken strict measure as not to electronic device during school hours and that which is not related to educational function.  Children are often found to text msg, chat for long hours and even take pictures out of way. Children were found to be putting notes in ipod and listen to it while taking tests.

So there, we need to follow the mobile manners for own self and as well as children. If a child is using a mobile, he should know mobile manners. It's a use of mobile phone only in time of special/urgent needs only. Set a good example and teach them few things if they are using mobiles (Best is 'No mobiles till 16) and don't let them get attracted for the fancy picks.

Few things children using mobiles should know:

1. Protect the mobile numbers. Do not give your no. to everyone. Do not let others see your number. 
2. Do not respond to unwanted SMS or call back for strangers who sms or ring you.
3. Do not give your information to any caller unless you know the person.
4. Know the etiquettes and follow the right use. 
5. All mobiles cost. Use with responsibility and for right purpose.
6. No mobiles to school. If they have anything at all, they can call from school office.

So goes, for the ipods - Let kids use them while they're free and a strict 'NO' while at school.

There's no denying that we live in a dangerous world and that children are overwhelmingly important. A day when our mobiles go off even for a while, we are used to adjust but the next generation is out with the newer technology and its safety more a concern for them right now. Protect kids from the dangers using mobiles.

Let there be a mobile phone free for a week and enjoy with kids, friends and socialize. I am sure, you will be happier to do so - Just like me, chucking away my Blackberry as I stay tuned on the web!

Btw, Google Android launches on 23rd September 08. Though, it may not be available for another month. Here's where you can find all on the new Google Android. Also in Kidsfreesouls You Tube, an earlier G Android video shows all. Enjoy.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for kids 

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