Rafed English

Smartphones and Children  (Part Two)

My child is glued to his/her phone, is that okay? What should I do?

Most kids are glued to their smart devices to a point that they spend most of their day texting, socializing, playing, etc. This is not a good thing. Many claim that the hazards that overuse of smartphones brings is mental illnesses and even physical illnesses from loss of sleep for example. While that may be true, there is another vital thing which our children are falling into by overusing their devices and that is diversion.
Imam Ali (a.s) stated “Diversion is the fruit of ignorance.”(1), so ignorance which is the opposite of wisdom and knowledge is like a tree that has many poisonous fruits and one of those wicked fruits is diversion. This fruit has many kind of poisons such as wasting time and abandoning fruitful actions, actions that are important for worldly matters or afterlife duties.
These things are in their blood, so it will not be the easiest of jobs to make them lower their time on their devices, but it is a job we as parents have to do “All of you are herders and all of you are responsible of your herds.”(2).
 A couple of steps parents can take are:
•    Teaching the children by giving them words of wisdom, and knowledge, precisely knowledge of the ill effects  diversion and time wasting can bring. Imam Ali stated “If man’s knowledge(3) increases his (good) behaviors increase.”(4).
•    Putting rules in the house restricting the children from their devices at certain times and days, especially prayer times, before sleep, homework times, and family gatherings which can be between the family or while going out together as well as during dinner, lunch, and breakfast.
•    Make them work for the data plan on their devices. 

1.  Ghurar Al-Hikam 9066
2.  Bihar Al- Anwar v72 p38 (reported about the prophet [pbuh])
3. The good and effective knowledge (the one that has high praise, makes one closer to Allah, brings all good, etc.) in the words of Ahl-Al-Bayt mean the knowledge that is acted upon, the knowledge that is followed up by actions that are according to that knowledge.
4.  Ghurar Al-Hikam 144


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