There is a problem of television and internet that we must address without fear. There is anything and everything good and bad on the web
By Emilian Kayima
Finally, our children who have just completed their Primary Leaving Examinations have come home. They harbour great feelings of accomplishment, having struggled all the 10 years in the nursery and primary section and are now ready to cross over for their secondary studies.
Parents and guardians should feel proud to have walked this journey, too. Truth is, though; it is not yet uhuru! The journey ahead is equally long and must be discussed, to enable them emerge winners.
We must recall that these are teenagers. And, teenagers often think on their feet, sometimes acting rather recklessly, with little scare or even hindsight.
Remember, they are not as experienced as we adults are. There is a danger in their seemingly innocent actions or omissions. They surely need our guidance, which ought to be done carefully, with tact and tenacity.
One of the things they might try could be having sexual relationships with peers, adults or even relatives.
They might try smoking cigarettes or even taking prohibited drugs. Some, especially girls from affluent families, might try shisha, to cope with their peers.
There are those that might drive your car without the competence and licence to do so. Some drink beer and visit friends of their friends as a way of enjoying themselves, which actions might pose a grave danger to them and their families.
Some of these acts could compromise their safety and security, given the fact that kidnaps have happened before and could happen again. We have records of young people who drive their parents’ cars without their permission and end up in deadly road traffic crashes. Sharing such information is one way of preventing such occurrences. Those concerned must take a cue.
That is why parents have a duty to plan constructive engagement; guiding children to enable them have a good time without compromising safety and security standards. Watch your children and never get tired of listening and speaking to them.
Every word counts. Mind you, the good words and deeds of parents/ guardians often go far deep into the subconscious of the individual listening. That is the reason parents/guardians must keep all their senses, especially the eyes and ears open to discussion, dialogue and, sometimes, sanctions, to those who challenge authority.
Perfect security is a result of joint effort between the security sub-sector and the people we serve. It means that those who desire to have safety and security must play a proactive role and prioritise it. For safety to be sustained, parents must not only encourage children to play a part, but should also fully involve them at every stage. When our teenagers on holiday get to fully appreciate the security concerns, they will automatically become hard targets. As a result, they will be safe and secure in their spaces, pointing to a bright and more predictable future.
There is a problem of television and internet that we must address without fear. There is anything and everything good and bad on the web.
Pornography is one of them. It affects us and it is addictive. We can regulate what our children watch, but it is more of a war of the mind than just hard control measures put in place.
Talk, discuss, persuade, argue and realign their thinking. It is hectic and it requires skill and communication expertise. We can all learn it with consultation and reading.
We can think of activities to keep our candidates active, engaged and productive. This is also the time to discover their talents, likes and dislikes. If they are not active and preoccupied with useful activities, something negative will occupy their spaces. That, too, will spoil them and cause them and us all trouble.
Just imagine what your ill-intentioned neighbour thinks of your daughter or son. That is the reason we must take care of our neighbourhoods.
Each parent should dream of opportunities and share these dreams with their children during this long vacation. We can use this time to set goals and achieve them. We can help them to read a book, dig a field and plant trees. They can, as well, buy and take care of a cow or any other animal that will propel them to think outside the proverbial box and grow their potential.
Whatever we do must border on preventing our children from falling into the deep waters of crime and criminality. The effects of crime have far-reaching implications that we do not want our teenagers to go through because the price to pay is very high and painful.
The writer is a senior Police officer