Written by Shiku Ngure
One of my favourite comedians made quite the entrance during a kid festival held this past weekend. He was accompanied by four or five young boys of not more than twelve years. They were all clad in army like uniforms complete with fake guns. They proceeded to ‘shoot’ everyone else who was on stage. It went on for a while with the dj playing sound effects to match the action on stage. It was an interesting display, commendable even, for the wrong target audience. No, I am not some sort of moralist, far from it. I however do believe in preserving the innocence of childhood for the longest possible time. One of my friends thinks it’s hypocritical. Maybe it is, possibly.
Parenting is said to be the hardest job with no rewards. Question is why should it have rewards? Did the child ask to be born? Whether it is/was planned or accidental on the parents part doesn’t matter. Once a child is conceived it falls upon the parent(s) to protect him/her, to love unconditionally, to mould him/her into the best being possible. Our generation is riddled with all types of problems. One of our greatest, methinks, is the parenting style. This could possibly be traced back to the preceding generations but we are not here for that. Parenting has become some sort of whose-the-coolest-parent-now contest. Kids are dressed in shameful attires in the name of fashion. Violent games and shows are bought all in the name of Lord knows what. So much is wrong. We all see it but choose to turn a blind eye after all, we are cool aren’t we?
The reinforcement theory states that violence and aggressive behavior on the media platform affects us based on how we are/were brought up. If a child grows up in a violent environment, they deem it as acceptable behavior. Such a shame right? We cannot blame the media (as we do our government) for all that turns out to be wrong with our kids.
I am as open minded as they come. If I was anymore open minded my brain would fall right out…no? Bad joke? Alright. A ten year old has no business singing along to ‘bend over.’ A two year old should not be exposed to violence of any kind. We must take it upon ourselves as a society to protect children. We should allow them the chance to just be children. Dwayne Johnson in the movie Tooth Fairy (2010) learns, as we all should, that there is the right age for everything. Let your child dream. Refrain from letting out your frustrations on them. Be a safe haven for them; where they can laugh, cry, voice concerns, act silly and most importantly where they are loved regardless of their shortcomings. Do not expect anything in turn. It is hard work.
A parent is a human being and parenting can understandably take its toll. Children can literally drive you crazy. Be it the newborn who simply will not stop crying at 3 am or the 14 year old who refuses to communicate or the soon to be 20 year old addicted to some illegal substance. It is not easy. There is no fool proof manual. Add the bills that come with the little bundle of joy to the equation and it quite possibly could be a recipe for disaster.
Can we do better? Is it possible to change our ways? Better yet are we too late?