By Ovundah Nyeche
Raising kids is not a child’s play. At the back of most parents minds is what to use to distract them with, when parents wish to rest or be more productive at home.
For many parents smartphones, tablets or computers are the answer.
From rhymes, to videos, to games, to cartoons, to emmmmmmm social media… these devices got you covered.
But here is the issue, many kids are already hooked to phones before they even own one…add the pressure of buying your children a phone, the internet and then non vigilance… And there is a disaster brewing.
Many times I speak with kids, I ask them to raise their hands if they have phones and many do… I then add if they are on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Whatsapp, Twitter and other social media networks and hands still stay up and then when you ask their ages… You feel sorry for them and their parents…as many are not even old enough to be on the social media platforms they are already on.
I don’t know how to say this… But parents, myself inclusive, it is not in the constitution that you must give your kids phones because you can afford it. It is also not in the constitution that you must open social media accounts for them because they have reached the acceptable ages to get a social media account… Especially if you have not trained them to maturity and independence and you are sure you cannot follow them on social media and know who they follow and their online activities.
Some children even play smart by increasing their ages, so as to get an account and are smart enough to block their parents and all monitoring spirits as well.
And they follow Mhizsexy, MrRandy, Her Slay Highness, His Royal Highness, Mhiznude, Masternaked, CrackheadJoe on social media who will take them on a journey, a really long and perilous journey.
Some are already exposed to cyber bullying or learn how to cyber bully early on.
Some use pictures gotten from the internet as their profile pictures and use fake names as they immerse themselves in a world of senior jokes and learn rubbish as well.
Some play dangerous games on the internet, gamble on the internet and on their phones… Snap nude pictures which they display on exclusive groups and sites.
So before you give your child a phone. Be sure your eyes are on point, be sure you trust them and they trust you too to open up to them.
Be sure you have the strength, skill and wisdom to follow up, not forgetting there are apps which hide iniquitous stuff from the eyes of mortal men.
Emmmmmm that you can access your child’s phone does not mean you know what’s up or you can unearth the mystery inside.
Don’t contribute to your heartbreak and wonder why “village people” are against you… And yes, one child told me once of his prowess in overriding firewalls his parents set.
I said let me, let you know.
If you don’t take care of your children… Things will take care of them.
May the Lord give us wisdom, to be parents indeed in this fast paced generation.
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