Commentary: We cannot leave our kids to their own devices

I wonder how many parents will get riled up by my commentary on CNA today.

Schools and governments around the world are trying to save our children’s mental health by restricting their smartphone and social media use. I argue that these initiatives will have limited impact as the root of the problem starts with us parents.

It is parents who plonk handphones in front of their babies’ eyes, buy smartphones for Primary 1 children, and provide mobile data so they have unfettered access to apps. Yet they don’t seem to realise how many kids are getting myopia at a young age and how youth mental health issues have skyrocketed. Meanwhile, many parents are hopelessly addicted to their small screens.

Yet, I also say that banning the use of mobile devices and apps is not the answer. There are many useful online tools and educational videos on YouTube that help children get ahead of the curve. We need to grasp technology and online content well in order to guide our kids.

How should we strike that balance? Please read my commentary.

Thank you to Alison Jenner and the CNA team for the opportunity to pen this commentary!