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Parental care replaced with smartphone

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Parental care replaced with smartphone

Neglects, denial and ignorant will be most appropriate words to describe the world of little Toppa, an Indian girl. Toppa’s video of lament and neglect has gone viral and still ongoing.

The little girl seemed oblivion of her teacher’s presence in the classroom, for she kept on colouring a sheet of paper on her table absentminded. The teacher walked into the classroom full of smiles and asked her Nursery pupils what they want to be in life.

One of them stood up to answer, “I will like to be a bird so that I can fly wide and around the world.” Another said “a blameless white rabbit,” so that he could continuously be his parents cherished pet that got so much attention. Various answers went on until it got to little Toppa whose age may not be more than five or six years old.

She said she would like to be a ‘Smart Phone’, so that she will enjoy limitless attention from her parents!

Her answer sounded ridiculous but her points were solid. Toppa’s lamentation was that her mother always rushed towards her phone whenever it rings and her father was ever busy playing games on his smartphone, if not playing games, it would be chatting on WhatsApp, sending text message or talking on the phone for a very long time.

She narrated a sad experience of a time she needed her father to help knot the tie of her school uniform and she went to him, “like a lightning speed, my father pushed me away and continued with his game and when I ran to my mother in the room, she was also busy pressing buttons on the phone. She also directed me back to my dad without looking up from her phone,” she said.

Eventually, her school bus driver helped her knot the tie.

According to Toppa, there were many other instances where her mother would forget to package her lunch box, or even remember to come pick her after school hour. “My mom does not go to work, she stays at home all day but she was always busy on the phone,” she alleged.

Even if her classmates did not get the full import of her story, they felt for her. Their faces wore sadness while her teachers smile faded away and got replaced with a somber look. For viewers who watched the video, it was a sober reflection of their own sheer ignorance.

Most parents and caregivers are guilty of Toppa and the boy who wished to be a ‘white rabbit’ predicament.

They both wished to be so because they craved for their parents attention and care. However, they are not alone; there are similar stories in Nigeria as well. There was the issue of a six years old girl who does not take lunch to school unlike others in her class.

For this little girl known simply as Keji, lunchtime is traumatic. She sits alone and watches other eat or some of her friend offered her their foods some times.

Not that Keji’s parents cannot afford to give her lunch, actually, her mom is a full time housewife who ordinary should have the time and give her daughter all required attentions but the little girl gave excuse that her mother does online businesses which required her maximum attention and her father is a dispatch rider.

Two of them, Keji explained that they are always on the phone answering calls, sending messages or chatting on WhatsApp.

Temitope, Keji’s mom told New Telegraph that she doesn’t fail to give the girl lunch pack to school except she slept late meaning which makes her to wake up late, then she will give her snacks or take the food pack to her in school later in the day.

But Keji’s teacher supported Keji’s claims that she often comes to the class without lunch pack. According to the teacher, they (school management) have done their investigations on her and found out that the mother was always engrossed with her phone or Ipad.

This may be the lots of many children out there especially as the world advances more in technology. A new research conducted recently on this issue advised parents to desist from this act. This, according to findings, puts children’s lives at risk.

The Child Accident Prevention Trust did the study on 1000 parents. “A quarter of parents were engrossed in their phones when kids had an accident or near miss. Mums and dads who can’t put their mobiles down are so distracted they could miss a split second chance to save a child from a serious accident.”

The research added that obsession with handsets rubs off on the children, with 15 percent of having accidents or near misses, including stepping into the road without looking, while on their smart phones. Now Dr Rahul Chodarhi, from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, is urging parents to put down their phones.

He said: “Accidents often happen when we’re distracted and mobile phones are increasingly to blame – whether it’s a teenager stepping out into traffic while instant messaging or a baby grabbing at a hot drink or biting into a liquid-tab (laundry tablets) while their parent is replying to a text.

Katrina Phillips, Chief executive at the Child Accident Prevention Trust, said: “Mobile phones are a godsend for parents under pressure – we can do the shopping, keep in touch with friends and family, and keep our children entertained.

But while we’re mesmerised by our mobiles, we’re putting children in danger. Serious accidents happen in seconds, often while we are distracted, and mobiles are seriously distracting. That’s why we’re encouraging families to turn off technology at pressure points during the day, to help keep children safe.”

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