I have been away for some time now. I had missed my community of readers but now I am here, full-time! For all those who sent me emails asking whether I have been okay, I am as fit as a fiddle (old one there.) I have been working on something that I will soon let you all know!

Have you met a teenager who does not own a smart phone this year? Every single place that you go to, you will definitely see one flashing out their phone and sending a message or two. Others will be giggling and laughing during family meetings as they pass their phones around. I have seen one who almost got hit by a vehicle, as they had their eardrums bursting from the music in their phone. Have you also seen distasteful screenshots circulating from the Whatsaap groups formed by these young ones? This whole ‘phone’ frenzy is what I call a hell raiser.

I got my first phone right after I finished high school. I would say that waiting till then would be pretty archaic nowadays, since times have changed. These days as long as your child needs to communicate, it would call for you purchasing a mobile phone for them. The question here is, are they ready? Do you think that they are mature enough to own one?

Most search engines have a feature that allows one to filter out “adult” content from the search results. I would recommend that parents adjust that before handing over the device to their child. That would keep them away from all the content that would not be fit for their consumption.

We have had very many cases of teenagers arrested over having illegal use of their mobile devices. We had one recently arrested over numerous threatening messages sent from their phone. It is worrying as this could be anyone’s child. It is important for us to teach our children how to be selective on who they share their phones with. It is also important to ensure that we are aware of who they spend most of their time with as this would influence how they use their mobile phones.

We heard of the ‘Blue Whale’ wave.  Many children took their lives under the influence of the dangerous application. Do we monitor the kinds of downloads that our children make? We as parents should be very approachable such that our children would be comfortable making enquiries on things that they would need clarification on.

Have you seen one of the ‘mobile phone generation’ do their homework with their phone by their side? Do you know that each time they look at their phones; they spend a lot of time trying To refocus their concentration on their books? Keep the devices away during study time. It is not good for their knowledge retention which then translates to their school performance.

I recently overheard one of my nephews thanking God that there was no electricity at their grandmother’s house. That way, their elder sister would take part in their conversations. Some of these children are comfortable with their little virtual community such that they have forgotten the value of normal human interaction. Maybe you should set some time aside for family time where no one is allowed to use their phones.

I could go on and on about this but let me take a break here, we all need it.

Photo credits : https://sites.psu.edu/

Lots of love,

Ruguru Kimani