Of Sex and Teens: Parents where are you?

Critical Conversations
By @AnesuMarshal

On Saturday morning (the 9th of September, yes its current affairs) I woke up to a strange incident. As per usual I made my way to the local supermarket for breakfast ingredients. On my way there I passed by a church, but that’s not the strange thing. There was a poster stuck to the wall. This is where it gets interesting. On the poster a message was boldly written in permanent marker.

The message spoke of four very young girls stating how they were prostitutes and were terrorizing the people of our neighborhood with their immoral tendencies. The message stated that the parents of our neighborhood were ordering men to stay away from these young girls. The poster had a list of the four young girls, on the list were names surnames and the schools these girls learnt. Among them the youngest in form two and the oldest is in form four (too young for sex if you ask me). As the day progressed I thought that was the end of this issue (boy was I mistaken).

Normally I don’t follow local gossip but this story kept finding my ear. Turns out the mother of one of the girls went to the church and ripped the poster to shreds. She was so outraged she contacted someone from the feared CIO to track down the culprit who had embarrassed her so much. Turns out the “detective” was very effective and before the day was over the case had been cracked and solved.

Many questions had riddled my mind like bullets fired at a criminal in front of a firing squad. Who posted that poster and why had they done so were at the very top. I tried to understand why an adult would attack these young girls. One question that I knew the answer to was, if the claims made in the poster where true, the claims were accurate to an extent. Some of the girls are what is known as a local bicycle by some of the young boys in the hood (doesn’t leave anything for the imagination now does it).

What’s wrong with kids today? Not just the girls as is the case in this situation but the boys too. What is driving them to such reckless actions? Moreso, is nobody watching? Can’t, anybody help direct these kids? Parenting is just terrible lately, sometimes I worry that parents today don’t know how to parent. It’s a pitiful state that today’s children find themselves in.

The detective’s findings were very fascinating for me. All along I thought it was a parent who was worried that these girls were becoming reckless and putting themselves at risk. Alas! I was mistaken. Another teenage girl found out that this foursome was about getting too close for comfort to her “boyfriend” and thought to humiliate them. Her solution was to plaster this huge poster were it would be seen by the neighborhood.

This incident is full of social problems, topped (in my opinion) a lack of communication between parents and their children. I believe that a parent should always know what their children are up to and know what type of person they are. When it comes to children parents have very specific things they should do. They should provide food and shelter for their children. Below that should be to discipline their children, raise them to be respectable and outstanding members of the society.

Children with bad behaviour are symbols of neglectful parenting (though not always!). The issue here is that for a long time now children have not been receiving adequate sex education from the home or school. Their only source is either the broad and generalised mechanics from biology studies, or the extremely inaccurate and inapplicable views from television (mostly foreign content) and worst of all, their equally inexperienced peers. There are so many dangers involved with early sexual activity that these kids need to be made aware of. Venereal diseases are at the top of those dangers.

In the past two decades the government of Zimbabwe (among many other nations around the world) has been on a massive HIV/AIDS prevention campaign. What I find curious is that HIV/AIDS doesn’t seem to scare people as much as it used to. Maybe they have forgotten the commercial with the extremely skinny man who had been depleted by HIV. STDs are all too common among teenagers surely the health authorities have a plan to deal with this (I hope they do). By the time these kids try to seek help or treatment it’s too late, I’d prefer it if all this was avoided in the first place. Somehow lust overpowers logic or reason and nobody seems to care that young children are becoming overly sexually active with inadequate knowledge on sexual health.

I do however have a bigger problem with grown men that engage in sexual relations with much younger girls, with no intention of settling with them. It’s animalistic, rural, uncouth, and ignorant and all those other terrible words you could use to describe the lot.

Why are children so unruly lately? I don’t believe that my peers and I were as bad as the kids these days. Yes we had our naughty streaks but kids today are just too much to handle. The levels of discipline are incredibly poor, in the homes and the neighborhood but most notably in schools. Parents need to sit their kids down and get real with their children. If that fails maybe an old fashioned “ass whooping.” This new age rubbish that corporal punishment is not good for child development is inaccurate. This don’t spank your kids business has changed the power dynamic between children and parents/teachers. The threat of being arrested for child abuse is a big deterrent for anyone intending to spank a child. In schools this has made maintaining order and discipline tougher than climbing up a steel pole with oil on your hands.

In moments like this, I like to refer to a timeless statement that I was raised by and will sure raise my children by (if I get any). “Spare the rod, Spoil the child.” Every child should understand that actions have consequences. It is very important, and a little fear (of a spanking/whooping/venereal diseases) goes a long way to ensuring that kids are disciplined. But I would like to emphasize that the most efficient tool that parents can give their kids is knowledge. Nowadays, children are not being raised by their parents anymore, but by everything else around them.

So what does the future hold for today’s adolescents? Just think on it for a little while. What sort of society will we have from these unruly sex crazed teenagers? I fear for our future. It seems very bleak.

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