I was at a kiddies birthday party on Sunday and during the dance competition a couple of us watched in horror as girls aged 5-11 danced in ways that would have made my grandmother turn in her grave. They touched their non-existent breasts in what must have been mock seduction and gesticulated at their vajayjays while writhing their waists in ways that would shock Iyanya!
These girls were too young to be dancing like strippers on a payroll. I made such a fuss about it wondering where their parents were. Alas the parents were there enjoying their meals and mildly amused by the dances and get this, they would beam from ear to ear, every time the crowd went wild, seemingly proud that their young children were the queens of ‘robo robo’ dancing.
What happened to those days when parents would smack a child for being too worldly wise? What happened to savouring youth and enjoying their childhood? What happened to ‘aunty-give-me-cake dresses’ and cartoons? The kids at the party preferred to watch Merlin and African magic, they could dance the azonto and etighi better than most and could seduce any Tom Cat with their body language even though many of them were still too innocent to grasp the sexual innuendoes. What’s happening to our children? Who is training them these days?
As I watched them in shock and confusion, I allowed myself think. I wondered what would happen if one of the men at the party who was watching with rapt attention was a paedophile. I wondered what would happen if the rest of their innocence was stolen away! I wondered what would happen when I brought children into the world- I had a good mind to terminate my DSTV subscription and ground them till they were 21. But how about school? How would I stop them from growing up too fast? The world has surely made raising kids a ridiculously hard job for good parents.
A while back my cousin told me about a 5year old who was asked to dance at a party and she kept saying “wait” while looking around furtively for something. She eventually found it. A pole!!! She put one tiny hand on the pole and another on her waist and started shaking her small bombom. Our little girl had decided that being a pole dancer was the way to go. Is pole dancing common in Nigeria? No! Do parents take pre-schoolers to strip clubs? No! So what the hell is the problem? I was reading some comments on a blog and a reader mentioned that her 6 year old was sad when one of the housemates in Big Brother Africa was evicted and I must have shouted out loud.
MOMS IT IS NOT OK TO WATCH CERTAIN PROGRAMS WITH YOUR KIDS IN THE ROOM!
In case you don’t know, television has age restrictions on many programs. Those age restrictions are put there for very good reasons. And as for stations without obvious age restrictions like MTV and Channel O, please realise that children copy what they see and many music videos and movies have strong adult themes.
A child whose childhood is stolen from her grows up to be an adult who’s missing a piece of the puzzle.
Some of them get abused by mentally unstable adults and a lot of them spend long years experimenting and trying to ‘find themselves’. Some die, some get HIV and some turn to a life of crime, others grow up to be the next generation of mentally unstable adults…and the saga continues.
Life is in stages and every stage is just as important as the next. I know many parents are too busy tryna make enough money to pay bills, put food on the table and send their kids to good enough schools but that isn’t all parenting is about. Would you leave your child to be trained by Lady gaga, Beyonce, Wizkid and the other MTV stars? Would you leave your child to be trained by Tonto Dikeh, Mercy Johnson and our Nollywood actresses? These people are paid to entertain and NOT to train up your kids so don’t even think about blaming them!
Sigh…really should your child get first hand knowledge about life, sex and love from their peers, social media and GOOGLE?
The funny thing is, if you remove these ‘contaminants’ from them without filling the void with love and constructive replacements, you’ll have a bunch of kids who pretend, just to keep you happy but can’t wait to experience the world every chance they get. Sigh…
I think rather than blaming the media and the world at large, every parent ought to take a stand to bring up their child in a way that would make him or her an adult they would be proud of. Parents need to make sure their children get the required moral, cultural, religious and social training they need and it’s NOT enough to discipline and deprive these children, practise what you preach, be interested in their activities, give them love and attention and keep them in your prayers. There’s no middle ground here. You either take an interest in your child’s development or the world will do it for you. There’s more to being a parent than just putting food on the table. God help us all…
Children are our future, I want a bright future, do you?
Have a great day chutzpah fam.