Dr Mohammad Murad Abdullah, Secretary-general of the Juvenile Care and Awareness Association, said parents GLUED TO their mobile phones could be alienating their children. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Juvenile delinquency can be prevented if parents spend more time with their children, officials said on Monday.

Dr Mohammad Murad Abdullah, Secretary-general of the Juvenile Care and Awareness Association, said that parents cannot find time to talk with their children as they are busy with their mobile phones.

“There is a disconnect between parents and children. It is an alarming issue as we will lose our children due to lack of monitoring and interest in the child’s daily life,” Dr Abdullah said while talking about a new campaign to raise awareness among parents.

He said that a study conducted by Dubai Police showed that parents in UAE spend about 30 minutes per day with their children.

'Big mistake'

“We will conduct a new survey but I think the amount of time parents spend with their children is less due to social media and technology now. We see parents giving a smartphone or tablet to children who are less than three years old. It is a big mistake,” he added.

Juvenile Care and Awareness Association is preparing to launch the campaign titled ‘Be with your children’ on November 20 this year to raise awareness among parents to spend more time with their children and to keep them away from negative company.

The association’s hotline has received calls about teenagers facing problems because of parental neglect.

Parental neglect

Last year, the association’s hotline received 186 calls from different nationalities including 103 from Emiratis.

Dr Jassim Khalil Mirza, director of the media department in the association, said that the campaign aims to enhance the relationship between parents and children.

“The campaign will focus on how to have a dialogue with children. Children can easily be influenced by negative friends. Teenagers can become drug addicts or criminals if parents neglect them,” Dr Mirza added.

The campaign will see the participation of about 32 government and private bodies and will feature clips and posts on social media networks.