Mobile Phone as Parenting Device in Dhaka City

Mobile Phone as Parenting Device in Dhaka City

by Humayun Kabir Khan

Abstract

The study was aimed at exploring the usage of mobile phone as a parenting device in Dhaka City and its impact. The study deals with both qualitative and quantitative data, hence, a Triangulation strategy was chosen to gather the data, interpret the facts and analyze the results. Most of the respondents in the study were from middle income nuclear families having family size of 3 to 5. Educational qualification of most of the respondents range between secondary and undergraduate level. The findings of the study shows that about two-third of the respondents practice Authoritative parenting style while more the one-third of them practice Authoritarian parenting style. All the respondents perceive mobile phone as an inseparable part of life. All of them use mobile phone and most of them spend 500 taka to 1500 taka per month for their mobile phones. Findings of the study also shows that, almost all the respondents think that mobile should be provided to teens. The parents who do not want to do this are all practicing authoritarian parenting. In most cases the reason for providing mobiles to the teens is getting updates providing and directives to the teens while they are away. However, many parents consider the other uses of mobile phone, such as entertainment, social networking and education. The main focus of this study was to explore the effectiveness of mobile phone as a parenting device in Dhaka City. The researcher found that usage of mobile phone can strengthen parental control. Simultaneously, it might have the opposite impact, i.e., weakening parental control. Usage of mobile phone may effectively strengthen parental control, parents can get updates of their children any time they want to as well as they can provide directives. However, it depends on mutual trust and respect between the teens and their parents as the parents in Dhaka city mostly use the calling feature of the mobile phone; even though many parents know about the apps those can explore the location of a person without acknowledging, none of them uses such apps. On the other hand, parents cannot completely control the usage of mobile phones by their teens. They can talk to anyone or use Internet the way they want to without acknowledging their parents. They can fix time and place for meeting with friends over phone as well which keeps their friends unknown to their parents. Such activities by the teens not only weaken parental control, it might be dangerous for the teens sometimes.

Keywords: mobile phone, parenting, teen, Bangladesh, Dhaka City

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