Counselling Research Institute of Kenya (CRIKE)


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Mobile Phones Taking Control of Our Children

Obsession to mobile phone is not unique to children but to majority of mobile users whether young or old. When children get obsessed to mobile phones especially texting, they can not do without mobile phones since the need to continue texting.

The desire to continue texting has a cost implication. They need constant funding to continue texting. This might lead children to stealing or asking friends for cash to sustain the habit. This probably is one reason why children are increasingly engaging in gabbling.

Mobile phones feed the personal requirement of children especially teenagers. They provide a sense of worth and popularity with friends with whom communication can be continuous. Through observation I noted that mobile phones feed the desire for attention, acceptability and satisfies children emotional drive.

Mobile phones further can cause social stress in children. Stress can be caused by both sender and recipients. A critical interview with children show that social stress can be caused by
1. Huge peer pressure to have a mobile phone with the latest technology and designs. The pressure may lead children to crime and gabbling to raise money to buy the phones of their taste to conform with peers tastes.
2. The children desire of maintaining communication with friends yet they have no source of finance to sustain the communication. Parent can bear witness many children are increasing cheating on them on finances. When children have mobile phones it is another expenditure on family finances either directly or indirectly. If parents don't provides children may engage in gabbling, crimes or begging for money from well to do relatives and people they perceive as friends. They may look for sponsors who may end up taking advantage of them.
3. Owning a mobile phone for some children provides a status among friends and a degree of self worth. So those who may not have mobile phones may feel inferior among the peers. This is something the parents need to discuss with their children.

Mobile phones may also be a health hazard to children. Children in our contemporary society are growing up in a radio active frequency environment that never existed before in human history. I have done extensive reading on this issue and scientific evidences show that radiation emitted by mobile phones can have adverse effects on children.

The World Health Organization has classified cell phone radiation as possibly carcinogenetic. Children absorb more than 68% of the radiation into the brain than adults. Scientists have discovered that just two minutes of the cell phone can change the electoral activity of the children brain up to an hour. The radio waves from the movie phones penetrate deep into the brain not just the ear. This could impair children learning ability and other behavioural problems. Studies have also shown that children who use movie phones have a possibility of developing non - malignant tumour in the brain and ear. I do not want to scare parents but information is important since protection is better than cure.

Use of mobile phones can lead children to engage in inappropriate behaviours. It is general observation that texting and sending inappropriate pictures is a growing challenge among children especially teenagers. Through the use of mobile phones children are increasing acceding bad websites such as pornographic sites using internet. This is a factor that has greatly contributed to moral decadence among our children. This is a topic that requires attention by all. All have the responsibility to counsel and guide our children on this reality to help bring up morally upright children.

Finally mobile phones can be addictive . children who get addicted to mobile phones may end up spending more time on the phone at the expense of their studies and other positive social activities like going to play with friends. Addiction to mobile phones can negatively affect children's' life. This many have long term effects that all parents must be knowledgeable about. Mobile phone addiction in children can be very costly in terms of

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