"I'm worried that she's (referring to her daughter) going to lose her childhood." This is the most powerful message the mother gave to her daughter in one video I watched on YouTube, titled: "Parent vs. Kid: 8-Year-Old Debates Her Mom For a Cell Phone," where they are in a friendly debate about whether the daughter's wish to have her phone will be granted or not. Just like the judges' reaction in the video, I was also impressed by the points raised by the child on why she deserves her phone. It is just that I also believe in the saying that "mother knows best," so I got torn between the two sides after watching the video. I think they can meet halfway, where the child will have her gadget but with limitations to ensure that she will still have her life outside the technology.

Gadget Addiction in Kids

We are all aware that having their gadgets will undoubtedly lead to too much usage of them, which in the long run may make them experience speech or language delays, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), learning problems, anxiety, childhood depression, and a negative impact on character development. Moreover, a child will also likely become overweight and develop seizure and vision problems when they spend too much time using gadgets. However, banning all electronic devices from our children may harm them. They might be outdated with the computer, which will play a huge role in their studies when they enter school. Nowadays, since the online classes began last year due to the pandemic, all students must have at least a phone or a laptop for their online courses. Therefore, we have no choice but to allow them, but we have the option of how to control their usage of it. This is still for their own sake and welfare, as we know that abuse of technology already causes more harm than help.

We can discipline our children when they use their gadgets, but we must do so positively because today's children are more sensitive and impulsive. They believe disciplining them means controlling them and taking away some of their rights as if we are punishing them for no reason other than to do what is best for them. First is the gadget that we are going to buy for them. Since they are just kids, they don't need the highest-end, most updated cellphones or tablets; instead, we can look for some child-friendly devices. There are plenty of them on the internet and in online stores. A gadget already has a child-friendly application like "YouTube kids" instead of "YouTube." A device where parents can control the password for accessing sites and can control their usage. For example, it will automatically turn off for 1 hour after three straight hours of use or from 8 in the evening onwards.

Second, after providing them with the device they require to be equipped with modern technology, we should only install educational applications to help them learn while playing. Some apps can help toddlers become familiar with colors, numbers, the alphabet, and colors. There are also some good apps for the kids, like something that will help them in mathematics, science, and English. With these, we can ensure that they are just using them for watching videos that may lead them to waste their time.

We must also not forget to give them a break. Let us encourage them to enjoy the real world. Teach them to do real-life activities. Some outdoor activities may be enjoyable for them while also providing them with real-world experience. Let us ensure they will not create a world where they forget reality. The best way to do this is to be a good set of examples. As their parents, we should show that we are the ones controlling our gadgets and not the devices holding us. Let's have a weekend activity with our children, visiting parks, malls, or churches. Activities promoting quality time will also build more connections between parents and children. These may also divert their attention and make sure that the usage of gadgets is just secondary and not their main priority.


We should never forget that the parents and guardians, not their teachers or friends, have the most significant responsibility to discipline their kids and control their exposure to gadgets. Creating a healthy lifestyle for our children can be vital to handling and caring for themselves during adulthood.

Reference: Parent vs. Kid: 8-Year-Old Debates Her Mom For a Cell Phone (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3Egu8zU79s)