Last week [email protected] Large asked these critical questions concerning raising teenagers:
1.Should a parent draw their line in the sand about issues they believe are right and those they believe are wrong such as Curfew Time and Dress code for example?
2. Is it right to snoop on your children, read their emails or hack into their facebook page as my church colleague who is an IT specialist suggested he did, if the page has security code on it.
3. Is it okay for a parent to decide for his children who they can be friends with or not
We got some interesting responses and here we publish the most elaborate one from a reader in Kenya Wamaitha Waweru who is also a parent to a teenager and very passionate about parenting issues. She writes via email:
I saw your above questions in your recent post on parenting teenagers. I am writing from Kenya and the answer is Yes to all of them. A parent does not do this for themselves but to protect their children. A teenager feels all grown-up but seriously they are children.
When you look at teenagers who are drug addicts or addicted to any vice, the first question is when did it start? The second question is could it have been avoided? the third is could the parents have done something? You see when you lose your child to any of the worlds ways, reclaiming them back is an uphill task so your teenagers life should not be taken for granted because it is not a gamble. It is a life that needs to be protected by all means possible and the only way to do that is by being in the know of your teenagers life whatever that takes.
Of course the teenager will feel they have no rights but they will not be a teenager forever. Once they stop being a teenager they will appreciate what you did for them as a teenager. At 42, I now understand why my mum chose friends for me, I now understand why she would not allow me to hang out with some girls. Those girls today are struggling.
Sorry, I am a parent to a teenager and I feel passionately about this topic so I could go on and on.
On the other hand I had the privilege to watch a dvd of a clinical psychologist asking teenagers questions about what their parents worry about which they wish the parents wouldn’t worry about and ‘Trust’ and ‘Good Grades’ came out tops. Teenagers interviewed felt that their parents needed to trust them to go out there and make their own mistakes and learn the lessons as part of growing up.
I found it interesting that we approach this topic at a time when a well known international preacher, Creflo Dollar who is currently dealing with child battery charges is all over the media denying allegations of choking and slapping his 15-year-old daughter to stop her from going to a party. The child called the police on him and he was arrested. These are the times we live in. For a comment to be published write in to [email protected]