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#trending: Ingenious or humiliating? Man’s use of dog cone to curb granddaughter's screen time sparks debate in China

XIAN, CHINA — A grandfather’s use of a dog cone to curb his granddaughter’s excessive phone use has sparked a debate among online users in China. 

She protests as her grandfather finally takes the device away and carries her out of the car, saying: “No, no! This is for dogs!”

“No, it was bought specially for you. It’s pink. It’s yours,” replies her amused mother as she tries to reassure the child.

The mother, surnamed Yuan, told Bailu Video that the approach surprisingly proved effective in curbing her daughter’s phone “addiction”.

“For the next few days, whenever she wanted to use the phone, I would put the cone on her. After wearing it for two or three days, she no longer wanted the phone so we don’t use it anymore,” Ms Yuan shared.

The viral video has attracted close to 2.1 million views and more than 460 comments as of Wednesday (Dec 20).

Some viewers were entertained by the family’s antics and praised the grandfather for his ingenuity.

One Weibo user wrote: “Who would have thought this could be done (laughs).”

“The dog cone is even pink. Are you sure the grandfather didn’t prepare it on purpose?” commented another.

However, the majority of online users seemed to be put off by the idea, with many casting doubt over the method’s effectiveness and expressing concern for the child.

One user pointed out: “Actually, if you lifted (the phone) higher you would still be able to see it.” 

Another person noted: “Apart from giving the old people temporary peace of mind, wearing this in public may be humiliating to the kid. I don’t believe that it can put an end to the phone addiction.”

Someone else argued: “What an idea. Parents can even harm their child this way. If they really wanted to stop the child from playing with the phone, a pair of gloves would work. Keeping the phone is an even simpler solution.”

Excessive screen time seems to be a common concern faced by parents across the world, as many struggle to keep smartphones and gadgets out of their kids’ hands.

In 2019, a trend where parents would prank their children with black eyeshadow to warn them against playing with mobile  devices too much spread on the Internet.

Believed to have started in Thailand, the trend saw parents sneakily rubbing dark eyeshadow around their children’s eyes before tricking them into believing that the “dark circles” were a consequence of prolonged screen exposure.

The viral eyeshadow videos had also sparked debate then among parents who advised against the prank, saying that it may traumatise the children.

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