Last week, I started this topic and as usual, it attracted a lot of criticisms from my readers especially proprietors of private schools. But it’s okay; truth is my watchword and no amount of threats and hatred will shut me up.
Today, I want to look at other factors that affect the lives of our teenagers and the choices they make in life.
The family remains the most important unit of the society. In fact, the society becomes what the family is. In this age, a lot of parents are getting it wrong when it comes to raising kids. We live in a time when parents trade the future and happiness of their children for their career. Parents now throw money at the children believing it solves it all.
Below are some comments from my teenage friends. Some of them called me lamenting over the attitude of their parents towards them.
Dear Aunty Amara,
Your articles have been wonderful, but I find this one more interesting. The young ones have not been properly attended to. I was once a victim of rape by girls in my neighbourhood. I couldn’t tell my parents because they won’t believe me. They always keep me indoors and this has made me a novice when it comes to things happening around me. They don’t even listen to us when we talk to them. God bless you and give you the grace to push this campaign.
Dear Aunty Amara,
I love you so much. I am a sixteen year old girl and I just passed out of secondary school. I am into three different relationships at the moment and I don’t seem to love any of them, just their money. I am hooked now because I am now known as a wife to the third boy. He is asking for sex; what do I do?
Like I said last week, I don’t publish the names of these youths and my responses to them are just between us because I must keep my promise to them. But I can tell you that many things are going on and the parents are acting like nothing is happening.
Okay, we are talking about the role of parents, especially mothers in the lives of their children. We are bringing up our children to believe money is the most important thing in life. I have realised, in the course of raising my four kids; children learn more by what they see you do than what you say. You can choose to carry the Bible or Quran and preach to your children for twenty hours, but the truth is that they watch you and whatever you do is what they believe should be done.
Your child grows to see you abandon him every morning to work; you leave the house at 4am before he wakes up only to return at night after he has gone to bed. The only thing a child like this knows is money, no love. Every human being wants approval and appreciation and because teenagers are very adventurous beings, they go out of their way to try things out themselves. This leads them into many terrible things you can never imagine.
When was the last time you had family devotion with your children before they go to bed? When was the last time you took them out? I wonder how many girls in this new generation will know how to cook and this is because the mothers who should create time for the home are busy running from pillar to post in search of wealth.
All the children grow up to know are Rihanna and Shakira, Ben-10 and Harry Porter. Isn’t it sad that when you ask teenagers to tell you who their role model is, all you hear is one Hollywood or Nollywood star? Since when did people with no moral value start being role models to African children? These are people who have no regard for their bodies; there is nothing sacred about their body any longer because we have all seen everything on pages of newspapers. These are people who are with one man this week and the next week, it’s another prey.
When are we going to get our children to start looking up to responsible men and women in the society-Professors, doctors, nurses, engineers, honest politicians…Sagging is now in vogue and I see parents move honourably with their sons sagging in the shopping malls. I see mothers with their daughters almost naked and they see it as being fashionable. Shouldn’t you bury your head in shame knowing full well that you have failed to instil morals into your children? It is time you let your children know that what Nollywood and Hollywood stars wear are not for Princes and Princesses. If you think your child is a prince or princess, dress them up as one. I always tell people to take a look at the British Royal family and watch their conduct, how they carry themselves in public. You cannot see Prince Williams sag, neither will you see the new bride, Kate; walk on the street half naked. They know who they are and if you don’t succeed in imparting this into your child, you have failed. Your child must know who he/she is.
Another terrible mistake parents know is letting their children know who they are in the wrong way. I see parents fill their children with so much pride and arrogance that they feel on top of the world. One of the reasons I removed my first daughter from that popular school in Epe is the fake lifestyle I saw around her. What will make any reasonable adult blow the siren into a school compound? This is one of those things I am talking about. What manner of a person will that child turn out to be? He will definitely grow up with little or no regard for the less privileged. He will grow up to relate with just the rich. Parents, please make a U-turn.
When a girl grows up to see her mum abuse house helps and denies them food for days or better still give her left over food; when the boy sees the father slap his driver and gateman, what manner of people are they going to become? They will definitely grow to become what the parents, especially the mother is. I always say this; the most successful woman on earth is that woman who succeeded as a mother. Your career will someday come to an end and be forgotten the moment you are gone, but the lives of your children and generations after them will go on making statements about you.
Teenagers also do what they do because they are brought up by parents who give orders, just orders that must be obeyed. This is absolutely wrong and should be discouraged. I see teenagers shiver just by the mere fact that daddy is coming. You are saying, yes I got it right with my own kids, but that is not true. They are doing something else behind you just because they don’t want to get punished by the Idi-Amin in the house. The earlier you bring your children closer to you and get them to say anything to you, the better for you. Don’t kill them when you eventually find out they have boy/girl friends. Ask them to bring them home and from that moment, guide and counsel them.
Fellow parents, a lot is going wrong right before us and we are relaxed with the mindset that all is well. It is not true and the earlier you realise this, the better. Help your child to become African again instead of all these fake Oyibos we want to become.
How do you expect your children to become responsible adults when all they do is party and Siverbird Galleria? I pity parents who just follow trends without thinking deep. These teenagers, one of them told me, trick their parents into believing they are at the cinema. The parents believe they are because the driver took them to the cinema. What you don’t know is that even when they tell you they are going in the company of friends and classmates, they have another car, possibly a cab, waiting for them. The driver stays there while they move out to commit all the atrocities and then back to the mall to meet the driver who at this time is angrily sleeping in the car. Some of you believe your daughter is still a virgin because you follow her wherever she goes; well, this is an eye-opener.
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