Parental Guidance (2)

Stella Damasus

Stella Damasus

Stella Damasus

Now, how many children between the ages of nine and 14 who visit the internet have the strong will power to say, no, I am not going into this site because I know it is bad. Let’s be honest, how many of our kids can actually say: “It doesn’t matter if I am alone; I am not going into this site.”

As far as they are concerned, they feel they are not doing anything bad. They say: “I’m not trying it out with anybody, I am just looking,” and it’s easy because they are not paying for the internet. Their parents made it available, it is free for them, they can look and once a child goes into such sites it arouses them, it makes them so excited that any time they are alone, they would try to see more. Research has shown and science has proved that once the human mind absorbs things that can do things to the body especially at that tender age and they can’t control their feelings, the excitement that is derived from those feelings will drive them to do more.

I am saying here that we should create time to monitor what our kids are exposed to and prevent the kids from watching programmes that are above their age. We should not leave them to have access to some particular channels and programmes. Same goes for the internet, it is very important that we monitor the kind of things they are exposed to. If you decide to stop your children from accessing the internet totally, the laptop is an alternative means of doing research because they now have educational applications installed in them for different topics like Mathematics, Geography, General Knowledge. It is just to be rest assured that the only things your kids have access to are these applications. Even though I don’t know much about technology now, I have been told that they have created a lot of things to protect children from a lot so that you don’t have to be afraid about what they are exposed to.

I’m just advising that we find out what recent technology is available that will help our children and prevent them from being exposed to bad things. I’m sorry to say this knowing that I might offend a lot of people but I do not subscribe to parents giving their children Blackberry Smart phones before they are 15 or 16 because even as adults, most of us already have issues with the kind of chats we have on Blackberry phone. It makes people get closer to you than necessary, it is so informal and playful that you can send just one message  and you are already sending a signal to someone.

You can lead someone on and flirt without even realising it and it is so fast with Blackberry. If we are honest with ourselves, we will agree that there are some people on our Blackberry phones that we always press ‘End Chat’ to ensure that other people do not see the conversations we have with them. Even though those conversations are not really bad, the fact that you allow someone to chat with you at odd times, using certain words and emoticon and you find yourself responding because you don’t want to be rude, is risky enough, and it is not easy to handle unless you are a very strict person. As an adult, you can delete such people from your Blackberry if you have nothing important to say to them or you can decide not to respond to unimportant messages but our children who are at an impressionable and vulnerable age, and have started to be aware of the changes in their bodies and the feelings that they are getting all of a sudden, are ready to explore the spots in their body that arouse them that they didn’t know before now.

Imagine what they would go through if they have Blackberry phones; all it takes is for them to give their pins to anyone that asks and you don’t have to know. It happens in the church, it happens in school, it happens at the mall, it happens in the cinema, anywhere really. All it takes is for someone to pass a paper to a kid and say cram this number, and we know that kids cram things easily and before they know it, they are invited and they start to chat. The next thing is that they are meeting the person somewhere or in school and we, parents, don’t even bother to check what our children go to school with and what they come back with.

Some of our children take gadgets to school that they have no business taking there; some of them even take extra clothes to school. Believe me, younger girls are doing this now and younger boys are carrying things that show them pictures of nude ladies. We just don’t care anymore because we believe that with our  money we can afford all these things, we can keep them busy, we can buy them everything that they want just to get them off our backs and have more time to work.

Parents now spend most of their time working and having little or no time with their  children. Is there any wonder then that the children from rich parents are the ones committing all these offences and crimes? They are not committing the crimes because they need money, they are doing it for experiment. They do so most of the time for attention but the wrong kind of attention and, sometimes, they do it as a habit because they’ve been doing it since they were kids and nobody noticed.

So please, my advice is, let us all be careful about what we expose our children to, let us know what our children are accessing on the internet, let’s not expose them to Blackberry phones before they are old enough to handle whatever is coming with it. Whatever it is that we can do to help our children and work with them as much as we can, let us try and do it.

It is left for us to ensure that the future generations are doing what is right. It’s up to us to ensure that generations coming after us right the wrongs in our society and fix the things that have been destroyed.

Quote: If you suspect your teenager is involved in an unhealthy relationship or activity, ask and talk about it. Don’t be afraid to be involved in your child’s life. Find out all you can because unwelcome action may prevent unpredictable tragedy.

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