Vietnamese parents worried as children obsessed with smartphones

The excessive use of smart devices has negatively affected their schoolwork and health

Many parents in Vietnam have been increasingly concerned over that fact that their children keep using smartphones and tablets in most of their free time.

As access to the Internet and modern technology has become much easier in the country, young children have also been given the opportunity to experience smartphones and tablets readily.

However, many mothers and fathers who lack the skills and knowledge regarding the devices have failed to deal with the negative effects they have on their kids.

D., a high school student in the central province of Quang Nam, has had to repeat grade 11 for his weak performances and is now at risk of failing another year due to his obsession with mobile games.

According to D.’s mother, the teenage boy would make a fuss if anyone tries to stop him from playing the games.

“D. was once a nice kid and a good student, but everything changed after he was given a smartphone,” the mother said.

“I wouldn’t be this upset if he at least tries his best at school,” she added.

Another parent recently posted a status on her Facebook account, complaining that her child keeps spending excessive time on his smartphone.

She also sought help from others with how to deal with the situation.

Some of her friends suggested that she should tell her son to play some sports, or sign him up for a summer course, while others recommended that the boy take part in a meditation course at a local pagoda.

According to Dr. Nguyen Minh Duc, a lecturer at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Medicine and Pharmacy, game and social media addiction can lead to various health conditions, including sleep disorders, insomnia, memory loss, exhaustion, and lack of focus on daily activities such as jobs and schoolwork.

It also increases the chance of developing eye problems, obesity, high blood pressure, and some mental disorders, Dr. Duc continued.

If the addiction happens to small children, parents should be the first to blame for allowing them to interact with smart devices at a young age, despite the lack of proper management skills.

In order to cope with the situation, parents must take steps to limit the time their children spend on their phones and tablets every day, as well as giving them positive encouragement, Dr. Duc said.

The most important thing is to pay more attention to how children use their smart devices before they get addicted to gaming or social media, he stressed.

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