By Abiemwense Moru
Abuja – A House of Representatives member, Rep. Joan Mrakpor (Delta-PDP) has cautioned against the purchase of cell phones for kids especially those in primary schools.
Mrakpor told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja that parents should ensure that their children or wards do not take phones to schools as it would serve as a form of distraction.
The female lawmaker said if the children must have phones, it must be properly monitored, programmed for the purpose of making and receiving calls and messages.
“It is quite disheartening that some parents allow their children who are in primary schools use cell phones without the necessary supervision.
“There are things they should not have access to. Usage of phones for children under this age bracket should only be for calling and receiving calls not learning things that could corrupt their minds,’’ she said.
Mrakpor, who spoke further on the need to also monitor adolescent children, said that those under this age group needed a lot of guidance and counseling.
“It is the age bracket where you have to do a lot of monitoring, not monitoring as to being hash, brutal or making the children to stay away from you or not being free to talk to you.
“It is an age where you have to softly monitor what they do and give your counsel.
“But unfortunately, most parents have lost it because they cannot give what they do not have.
“Most guidance or parents do not even have what is required to monitor or give a proper guide to the adolescents.
“I am very sorry for my words, most parents and most guardians live irresponsible lives, the children watch their fathers go out in the night, carrying different types of women.
“The children know about their fathers’ girlfriends, they watch their fathers brutalise their mothers over arguments and quarrels and vice versa,’’ she alleged.
“Dating the girl that is the age or even younger than their children.
“How will such a father like that come up tomorrow to begin to tell a son or a daughter, be careful what you do, there is HIV in town, you have to live a responsible life.
Mrakpor further alleged; “so I think most adult are not good examples. It has gone so bad that even mothers and wives have decided to retaliate.
“You have mothers, married women also going out with men because their husbands are doing it?
“It is rather unfortunate, who is the adolescent child going to learn from? Who is the good example for the adolescent child?
She advised that the children themselves in the adolescent age bracket should realise that everyone had a destiny to pursue.
According to her, they should stand up for their own destinies by knowing that the things they do at their adolescent age will affect their adulthoods.
“If they mess up with their young age, off course, they will suffer for it as they grow older.
“If you are infected with some funny kinds of diseases, not just HIV as we concentrate so much on HIV, you have Hepatitis B which is sexually transmitted and more dangerous than HIV.
The lawmaker emphasised that every adolescent child should know that he or she had a vital role to play to have a healthy lifestyle by deciding on what was right.
“I think that as a country, as a people we are not just good examples for them and these must change to enable the adolescents have brighter future by learning good things from the adults.
On how the social media affects the lives of adolescents, the Lawmaker said that it goes together.
According to her, the adolescent girl that is all over the place with different boys, most of them outside their parents copied from the social media.
“The social media is a terrible thing even to the adults; the adults are not able to manage themselves with social media.
“You get all kinds of things in social media. So it again balls down to who are your parents and guidance?
Mrakpor stressed on the need for the social media to be strictly monitored and regulated by the government.
“But as it is today, is an all comers affairs, you go to the social media and see lots of horrible things on how to have sex, how to get pregnant, how to execute self-help-abortion and how to commit suicide among others.
“You can get some children between ages 12, 13, and 14, who would tell you what pills or concoction to take to get rid of pregnancies.
“So social media has done more harm than good to the adolescents and all of these are supposed to be controlled.
“The adolescents want to explore the world which cannot be taken away from them but that is where the monitoring and the mentoring come in.
“And who is supposed to be doing the monitoring and mentoring? That is the biggest challenge we have now.’’