PARENTING IN THE 21ST CENTURY

by - May 31, 2019


An incident occurred on Wednesday, which has left me utterly shocked. I have heard about the different ways people ask for money from others, but the one I experienced on Wednesday was simply mind blowing. I attended a church programme on the said day as it was a public holiday. Immediately I walked into the church premises, a little girl of about eleven years of age walked up to me confidently whilst smiling, revealing her nice set of dentition. She stopped right in front of me and blurted out " Aunty, you're very beautiful. I will like to be your friend. " she said to me while still smiling. You know, there's this saying that children are the best critics ever! So for that little girl to have complimented me in such an affectionate way actually made me feel so good. I thanked her for the compliment and told her I would love to be her friend too. I asked for her name, which she told me in her very refined accent.

 I was about leaving when this little girl dropped a bombshell which I wasn't expecting from someone that young. "Aunty, please my little brother and I are hungry can you please spare us some change?" she said to me, pleading with her two hands. I was speechless.  I wanted to ask her where her mother was, because it just wasn't right for such a little girl to ask for money from a total stranger. But instead, I let it slide because I was already running late for the church programme. So, I opened my purse and gave her the money she requested for. She immediately vanished from my presence excitedly, while I entered the church.

This incident has got me thinking since that day. Who taught such a little girl that technique to extort money from people?  She worked on my psyche and when she got the desired effect, she decided to ask me for a favour which I couldn't turn down. She is very smart, has a good command of English and very confident which actually endeared her to me. I love it when kids are really confident. However, this little girl is channeling these abilities of hers towards a counterproductive route. This brings me to the question, what morals are parents instilling into their young kids today? I can bet my last card on it that an older person must have taught that girl to ask people for money by guilt tripping them. Remember the little girl said she and her younger brother were yet to eat since morning. The time was about 11 am.  Who wouldn't have budged to help that little girl out?

During my undergraduate years in school, children of the indigenes of the state where I schooled made it an habit to always knock on people's doors requesting for money to eat. These are little kids of about three to ten years of age. The older ones among them will tell you they are willing to do "any work" in exchange for food or money just for them to eat. In fact, some of these kids actually sponsor themselves to school. Their parents will enroll them in a public school quite all right, but it will be the responsibility of these kids to "hustle" for money for their books, sandals and what have you. One told me specifically that his father refused to pay for his junior Waec so he started fetching water for people just to save up for his exam. This is a boy of about thirteen years of age, struggling to make ends meet.



Parents need to do more and stop churning out kids they obviously can't cater for. It is the belief of some Africans that a child most often always comes with a bundle of goodness in order to enrich whichever family he or she is being birthed into. The emphasis is on the set of people who believe it is acceptable to keep having children yearly, because you never can tell which one of them will become the president in future to take them out of their misery. This is a very absurd mentality. Why give birth to so many kids you know you cannot cater for?

Some even go as far as saying "When the child comes, everything will begin to work out well" Please, when exactly did the child become a magician? If you know you are old enough to have sex, you should be ready to take full responsibility when the child finally arrives.  Stop bringing these innocent kids into this world without having a backup plan for them. They deserve the best in life, so try as much as possible not to attach any supernatural wonder to them. They are meant to be dependent on you till they are old enough to fend for themselves. So, it is your utmost responsibility to take all these into consideration before birthing a child into this world.

Kids get molested daily due to the negligence of their parents by not catering for their well being, which will eventually have a psychological effect on them later on in life. You can imagine what could have happened to the little girl I mentioned earlier if she had approached a pedophile. He could have tricked her with goodies, and before you know it, she will get used to it and start seeing sex as an easy way out of any difficult situation. The boys might result in stealing all sort of things or even get molested sexually, all because their irresponsible parents can't cater for the kids they have.

This is a wake-up call to every parent out there. Stop churning out kids just to console yourself about your miserable condition when you know you can't take care of them adequately. Always endeavour to provide for their basic needs. If need be, be a labourer or find any menial job to do just to provide for your kids. Stop telling your kids to hawk,  is not their responsibility to provide for themselves. They are precious gifts given to you by God, and you should try as much as possible to protect them. Make use of the different contraceptive techniques to avoid having more kids you can't cater for. You need to do better!!!

Photo Credit: Google

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