Sunday, 29 July 2012

Parental Peer Pressure ('PPP')

First of all, let me say that I am  by no means a perfect parent. In fact, this afternoon, after church I was having a much needed pow-wow with my two teens in a bid to undo some of the damage that I believe had been done, by some of my actions and in-actions as a parent. Yes, I came to a point where I had had enough of the constant back and forth about curfews and outing dos and don'ts. I am all for healthy debate but I needed to draw a line for them. You know how it is, because you are the mom, the debating skills are more intense with you. When they face their papa, their grammar diminishes in intensity and passion. Lol!

But seriously, I cannot believe that my mgm and I are in the minority but from what my children tell me, it appears to be so. How do parents allow their fifteen year old daughters stay out at parties till midnight? How do you throw a party for an eighteen year old in a night club? True, they are in University and only God knows what they get up to when they are away from home but am I really being that odd when I tell my eighteen year old son that he cannot stay out till day break in a night club in this place we call Lagos (or anywhere for that matter)? Apparently, I am cos his friends, same age as him were at that party. He was not. He was not because my mgm and I refuse to succumb to what I call PPP - Parental Peer Pressure. You know that line kids use to make you feel like you are from the dark ages? Well, my mgm and I are very comfortable being party poopers/over-protective parents so it does not matter if  Lanre and Dupe are going to be there/do that/wear that, we are not budging. That is their parents decision and we refuse to allow them influence how we raise our children.
But don't you just wonder who these parents are and what they are thinking? I have asked a number of my friends with teen kids and they all where like 'What?' Night club ke? Till day break ke? One friend even told me that her younger sister who lives with her and is about to marry sef cannot stay out later then 10pm. So who are these parents behaving badly then (in my opinion at least)? I know you are thinking back to what you were doing when you were eighteen but you and I both know that we were more street smart as it were. Whether we agree or not, our kids have been sheltered a bit in our bid to provide better lives for them so personally I believe their 'release' into the big bad world, has to be gradual as they pick up skills to deal with the nastiness of it all. Plus back in the day, chances of a fifteen year old girl getting gang-raped at a day time party was minus zero percent! No, true life story. Her drink was drugged and the three friends she went with could not save her.  Today, she is alive but her mind is yet to recover from the ordeal. Even as I continue to pray for her I cannot help but wonder what her mom and dad must be going through. Perhaps they wish they had not allowed her go?

I know it is not possible to lock up our kids but we do owe it to them to make the right decisions for them cos regardless of what they think, they do not know it all. Neither do we, but we have lived more life than they have and the experiences we have had and the things we have learned must help us be better parents. Parents who will not succumb to peer pressure. Parents who know, because they have seen it, that most of their friends who partied their lives away and did things way before they should have, are now jobless or working for those who did not. Parents who will always act in the best interest of their children even when it makes them appear 'uncool'.

Sometimes I walk up and down in the Palms and I wonder if these little girls I see left their homes dressed decently only to get to the Palms and change into little bits of nothing. For surely, no sane mother would have let her daughter leave home dressed like that and with that much make-up. So it is either our country is populated by insane mothers or something is terribly wrong. My Only Princess is at that age where she picks her own clothes BUT I vet them and the only make up she is allowed is lip balm or gloss. Moms, please let's stop behaving badly. Let's teach our daughters to dress like the pearls they are. Every thing of value has to be mined from deep underground. Think about it, oil, gold, pearls, diamonds, do you see  them just laying all over the place on careless display? Are your daughters not more valuable than these? Cover  them up. Teach them to dress in ways that add value rather than devalue. Tomorrow now when one lecherous man gropes them, we will all be crying foul. I guess I should be asking you how YOU dress as I assure you that baby cow will surely be picking up style tips from mama cow. Not that I am calling you a cow o! Lol!

Seriously Parents, raising children is a grace-assisted race. There is a really fine line between being firm and uncompromising parents and fostering a loving, enabling environment where dialogue and healthy discussion can thrive. Tell me why does an eight year old need a blackberry? I mean it took me a long time to warm up to my fifteen year old daughter getting one but when I saw that my mgm, who is usually firmer than I am, felt it was OK, I let it go when he got her one for her birthday last year. But today, not only do younger kids have BBs, they have I-pads! For what? True now they get homework that requires the internet but that is what family PCs are for people! They do not need personal ones. OK, maybe it is just me but I feel we are leading our kids to that space of feeling entitled. Meanwhile, they have not worked a day in their lives to earn this quality of life we are giving them. Are we going to be there all the time? So when we give them all, what then do they grow up learning to earn for themselves?

*exhaling* Anyway, I am done pseudo-venting now and if this blog grinds your gears as my first born son would say you can blame Zee's blog - Not Complicated?  - cos it was reading it that triggered this rant. Indeed times have changed since I was a kid and I know parenting was not this complicated for my mom and dad and like I told my two teens this morning, I was OK being that parent living in the dark ages now if it meant I could be the parent of  children who grew up to be responsible, well turned out leaders of their generation in the future.  I love my children to bits and will take any number of bullets for them BUT I will not, in the name of being a hip parent, allow myself succumb to PPP

Neither should you. Now or in the future.



16 comments:

  1. Well written! I agree, and think that parents shouldn't allow their children to stay out until all hourse.
    All the best

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for coming by Melbourne. I know and I wish more parents stood their ground on this. I am all for going out and having fun with friends but there are limits and boundaries.

      Delete
  2. Thank you very much DNW. I totally endorse this post. I have not started having kids yet, not even married but I totally feel this post. You are not wrong in the way you have chosen to raise your kids, if anything, you are very very right. I see kids at the mall and I am scared to have kids. Most parents have lost it all in the name of trying to be hip and cool. You are first and foremost your child's mother or father before you are his friend.

    My friend's niece is just 13, yet she has a Bold 5, iTouch and wears human hair, making her look all grown up, flies business class for summer trips. For goodness sake what is there to aspire to in life. Who is fooling who? When she starts asking for stuff her parents cannot afford, the next thing is the men who can give them to her are right around the corner. Then when the kids are uncontrollable, they will say its one witch from the village.

    I hope my kids are ready fro me cos this mama is battle ready. God give me his grace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. First of all, I adore your name. iLiveiLove! Nice.

      My dear, God will give you, all of us the grace in Jesus name. Even Richard Branson's kids, I understand, did not fly business class when they were growing up and we all know he is rich. He did that to teach them the value of hard work. You want to live it? Knuckle down and earn it. Today, we want to give our kids the world before they even know what to do with it. Then when the grow up feeling like the world owes them, we wonder why?

      Thanks for coming by iLiveiLove.

      Delete
  3. "Meanwhile, they have not worked a day in their lives to earn this quality of life we are giving them. Are we going to be there all the time? So when we give them all, what then do they grow up learning to earn for themselves?" - best quote ever! I am squirreling this little gem in my quote box for a later date when I am hunkering down to parent...lol...I am with you on this rant, and I am praying God gives us all the grace for this battle.

    Mary (Omo Jesu)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *smiling* Squirrel away Mary. Squirrel away. Thanks for coming by and yes, we musty trust God to help us. And like Atilola says, we cannot continue to throw away common God given sense in the name of being liberal.....

      Delete
  4. In the name of being liberal, some of us have thrown away our common sense.

    You have to understand that many of these parents are not there for their kids, so they 'bribe' them by buying all sorts of things for them so they can feel good. Wrong move!

    ReplyDelete
  5. You have hit the nail on the head!

    I am not even married but I am so battle ready for my kids when they come. My in-laws call me the "disciplinarian aunty" when I visit them because I wont take nonsense from their children. Haba, BB, brazilian hair, louboutins??? When me that I have worked my butt off cannot even afford them and even if I could I definitely will not hand them down to kids that do not understand the sweat and toil it takes to make a decent living. When I see the kids at Palms and Silverbird, I shake my head...literally.

    By the way, stumbled on your blog last week and I have been loving it ever since. Keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Well, considering the fact that I was responsible for this venting, and the ingenious caption of the 'PPP' I tried twice to post a comment last week, but no, the post (out of annoyance towards me maybe) totally refused to capture and send my comment!
    Well, I am trying again this morning!

    I said that we cannot but shout this matter. Growing up in my house, we all had to be home for 7pm. No matter where you were and with whom, my father expected a complete house by 7pm. We watched/listened to the 9pm news together, I know the new words I learnt from that exercise alone! So having 'growned' up and independent, whenever I visited him, I unconsciouly start itching to go home before 7pm if I went anywhere! Party ko, party ni! And if I must say, I turned out alright by the mercy of God, so giving children the total freedom to 'express themselves' will only do them more harm that good, roping us in with them along the way!

    As parents and aunties and general well-wishers, we have to help this upcoming generation because the challenge that the world present to them is no small thing.
    Be Free oh (to instruct them in the way to go!)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Zee, GBAM!
    I am glad your comment posted this time. More and more of us have to hear this. Awa parents gan, we are becoming more 'juvenile' than the kids were are trying to bring up.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh Sis, this just convinced me I am not a witch! Sometimes peeps make me feel I live in the dark age. Abeg, if being modest and upright is 'archaic', let me be archaic jare. I remember the night I thought my mum had traveled overnight and I stayed longer at a friend's place,got home like 9.30pm..kai! hell almost descended on me that night (I was just 16). My mom has taught me well, those values I must pass down. God bless my kids, they have a mother!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, archaic and extreme are names I am very comfortable with too 'in the best interest of my children'. It is tough sometimes but I am sticking to my guns. At the end of the day, I owe it to them and especially to God to the best I know how as he helps me. Nammie, let's carry go o jare! Archaic moms united!

      Delete
  9. I am not married yet either but I have always had very strong views about this. I am the aunty whose friends and siblings use to threaten their children because i will correct any of them anywhere not caring at all whether they like it or not. Its frightening the sense of entitlement kids of today have. I remember reading an article where a Nigerian woman was horrified that her eight year old son told her that he was asked in school "When you are traveling and you enter the plane, do you turn left or right?" Imagine o! Eight year olds now know the difference btw Biz class and economy?? As I child if they told me I needed to stand in a molue for 6 hours to get to London, I would have just been excited at the prospect of travelling! May God give us wisdom o. #smh. Miz YS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen Miz YS, Amen! We can talk about it all we like, if we parents and relatives don't apply godly wisdom to our love for our children, we will not be happy with what we see later on when these kids grow up. Awesome to 'see' you here!

      Delete
  10. I have been reading your blog for some time but have not made any comment till now. this one sure gets me talking. a lot of parents feel/believe that the only way they can make up for not being around is by lavishing the gifts with gifts way above their age. brazillian hair for small pikin? na today? brazillian hair ko, peruvian hair ni! when they get all these gifts and (perks), they begin to think the world owes them a lot and will always fall back on their paaernts to get them everything they desire, without putting in any effort to achieve anything in life. while growing up, a visit to the airport was all you needed to fire your dreams.... imagining that one day, you would be one of the passengers boarding a plane, but nowadays, all these children wan know whether na business class or economy class person dey fly. then before long, they will start demanding to fly ist class. as for me and my hubby, we don't mind being called names, but we would raise our children well even if it means being labelled as "rock - age parents", we can't be bothered. God's grace is sufficient to get us by.

    bernnie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Bernnie for visiting and especially for dropping a few words. I know right? This topic does get the blood boiling. I am so praying that those of us who think like this far out number those that do not. If not, our future is in trouble.......

      Delete

Thanks for stopping by! Did you leave a message?
Please do so I can know you came by.
Gracias!
Salt.

Featured post

Apparently, now, it is not IF, it is WHEN and it breaks my heart

Yes, such is the world we now live in.  It is not a matter of IF your young child will be exposed to pornography in some form or the ...