New era of African children at crossroads with parents

DAD, the truth of the matter is, I failed exams. But the fact is that I never attended school at all. My gangsters have taught me smoke, drink alcohol and lots of things. All these pre-occupied most of my time.

DAD, the truth of the matter is, I failed exams. But the fact is that I never attended school at all. My gangsters have taught me smoke, drink alcohol and lots of things.

All these pre-occupied most of my time. I have truly realized how disastrous it is, and now Dad, I promise to reform right away.

That was what Alex said to his furious father when asked to explain his poor performance at school.

Many a time, parents are responsible for their children’s moral decadency especially during the holidays.

Why would a parent allow a child to stay idle and consequently disorderly all the time?

Morality seems to be an old song yet nobody is ready to dance to its tune. I wonder why a ‘parent’ would laugh off a child’s mess, referring to it as merely silly and typical of today’s generation.

Have our societal morals shifted too far beyond our reach?
A number of factors bring about immorality and I am only concerned about what parents fail to see.

It costs nothing for a parent to move to the field with his/her child. But you find that most parents leave their ‘learned’ children in bed resting.

For those whose parents are businesspersons in rural areas the reverse is true. Like the hunter and the hunted, they all share the same fate.

What raises my eyebrows is that the so-called freedom turns into another biblical sodom. It leaves our children exposed to all sorts world evils.

Parents need not be blindfolded by child rights initiatives because they have nothing to do with the creation of a damaging environment.

Proper nurturing of a child leaves a lot of questions unattended to. It does not deprive a child of free interaction, but should not be misguided.

Alex’s confession is evident enough to show how irresponsible some parents can be. Most parents expose their children to dangers that have resulted into immorality of the highest order.

Chances of this boy getting back to his feet are minimal. He was given the freedom to do whatever he wanted in the last holidays. What he is today was a result of a gradual process.

The environment in which he was exposed to at the age when he had not matured enough to differentiate between good and bad groomed him into nothing less of a street devil.

Consequently, the parent will have to take the lion’s share of the blame.

Some parents have resorted to resigning and are actually living a sad reality of their children’s behaviors.

However, parents should not give up their duties as gurdians but seek guidance to reverse these habits.

This is where the adage “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop” should feature in a precaution.

Parents should draw a working time table to prevent their children from working for the devil during the holidays.
Parents are now at crossroads where they don’t know how to respect children’s rights and at the same time be strict with their children.

Children’s rights are a new emerging phenomena in most of Africa and Rwanda in particular. Cases of abuses in Africa are not peculiar.

What makes the difference is that the rights given to children contradict African ways of nurturing children.
Within the African traditional setting, a child had no right to say and do whatever he/she wants.

A good child listens and works under the directive of his parents.

As a parent, you have to fight hard to retain your own beliefs, while on the other hand be a good listener and a friend to children.

That way there would be a mutual understanding based on reason and focusing on the good.

The author is a teacher at Kagarama secondary school
shebs10@yahoo.com

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