Are Parents the best teachers? by Mikela Fenech Pace

Are Parents the best teachers? by Mikela Fenech Pace

I have no shame in actually admitting that I am a massive phone addict. I love chatting and keeping in contact so naturally social media simply feeds my addiction. So much so that my thumb on my right finger is already showing the signs of mobile distress and often cramps up. My husband has often made the point that I should actually put my phone down and ignore it especially when at home. He would even send me messages on my phone as a joke – a poignant one need I add.

Admittedly, I did try a few times, falling back into my usual phone routine shortly after. Until the day I became the butt end of my children’s jokes. ‘Mummy is always on the phone’, ‘Mummy loves her phone’, ‘Ma, get off the phone I am speaking to you’. Children have a great way of hitting where it really does hurt. So my new resolution is to put my phone away when the kids get home and leave it on charge. Check it once when I put them to bed and leave it there till I get to bed.

Unlike our children we were not brought up with technology.  We used to sneak around the house and pick up the phone to call our friends hoping our parents wouldn’t pick up and notice. I can still hear my parents’ screams to get off the phone, leave the phone available etc etc. ‘What on earth do you need to speak to a friend you’ve just spent a day at school with?’ my mother would rant. We would spend hours scribbling notes only to give it to our friends the next day at school.

When the internet was first introduced into Malta I was in my last year at university. MSN messanger was huge, the internet dial up connection slow and frustrating but we were on it all day long, chatting about everything and nothing. It was fun and the hours slipped by. One can expect that with each technological innovation, the same will happen in our children’s world.

In truth, we are often our worst enemies. How can we expect our children to grow up with healthy online habits if ours are just as unhealthy? The balance we expect our children to achieve is best achieved by teaching them through example.


Mikela is a graduate in International Relations from the University of Malta.  She holds a post-graduate degree in Management from the Mediterranean Institute of Management, Cyprus, a Masters Degree in Conflict Resolution from the University of Bradford, UK., and a Masters in EU Politics and Administrative Studies from the College of Europe Bruges, Belgium.
Her career spans 15 years in the Diplomatic Service during which time she worked on issues related to the IAEA, United Nations, Commonwealth and Sanctions.  Other positions held were that of Private Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Speech Writer as well as Assistant Director of Defence and Head of Secretariat of the Strategic Policy Secretariat both within the Office of the Prime Minister.  Mikela had a leading role in Malta’s response to the Libya crisis and post crisis planning of Malta-Libya relations. Today Mikela is the Senior Executive for Corporate Affairs at Vodafone Malta responsible for PR, Corporate Affairs, Internal Communications, External Relations and Corporate Social Responsibility.
Mikela née Tabone, is married to Eric and together they have five children.  Lisa is 8, Anna 7, Sarah 6 and the twins Eric and Rebecca 5. Her hobbies include diving, travelling and reading.  (When she has any time left!)



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