Today I bore witness to a level of idiocy that really made me question some people's parenting habits. Imagine two young boys on a porch running around kicking a slipper like it was a ball and each time the wayward slipper hit an older boy who was not a part of the play, he grabbed said slipper and chased the boys around with the intention of smacking them hard on the calf with it. Well, he must have seen the look that I gave him and then he began to chastise them for kicking around the slipper. He fretted about the slipper popping out, then he started to mention the other people standing on said porch, namely me, my niece and my boys. He was actually shouting at the top of his lungs and his face was so stern, it looked about ready to explode. If he and his counterpoints had not had me so irritated, I might have seen the humour in it. And, what was worse, was I have two young boys who are seeing this, and though they dare not move, for fear of me half-killing them, I could see the amusement and excitement in their bright eyes as they watched. I have to admit I was not the least bit impressed.
Yesterday, I think it was, I was taking Jaheim and Shakir to the car that waited for us and some boys from the secondary school in my district were a little ways ahead of me. These boys were talking quite animatedly without shame in some of the loudest voices you could imagine and using a string of swear words. I promptly turned to Shakir and let him know in no uncertain terms that I must never hear about him behaving in that manner ever! People talk about schools and say they don't make a difference and about parenting at home, but there is more to it than that. As a parent, you have to be forever talking to your kids and part of their training needs to be teaching them about independence and such like. It takes a lot of strength of character for a child to go to school and not be influenced by their peers to do odd things. I call them odd things, because if you are parenting properly, some of things your child comes home with aren't principles that you've taught them. And if you had to attempt to beat the idiocy out of them, you'd be featured in the papers and earn yourself a room at Her Majesty's pleasure. So talk away from the time they can understand, give examples where possible and pray hard that they listen.
Recently, I heard about a photo of a schoolgirl posing with a gun, circulating on Facebook and the police were investigating. One photo that caught my eye was some stupid individual circulating a photo and commenting quite proudly that the girl had an entire attitude that she isn't afraid of anyone. I talked to Shakir about it. I told him these young people stupid bad. First, they're foolish for posing with the guns and hanging around with people that would have them. Secondly, they are so social media stupid, that if they pee and it look green all of Facebook got to know about it. He looked at me with wide-eyed and open-mouth surprise as if he too couldn't believe how stupid they are. But folks, this sort of stupidity isn't natural, it is taught and nurtured, because trust me, before your kids start school, you walk around bragging about how brilliant they are. After they start school, you find yourself questioning if its the same child. These days, I spend more time telling Shakir to use his brain and think than anything else because sometimes I can't believe some of the odd things he does and I've made up my mind that he is not going to fall into this new normal. If he sticks out like a sore thumb, it'll be okay and he'll have enough self-confidence and sense of worth to pull it off. I'm going to keep on praying.
Allison is mother to two active boys who challenge her on a day to day basis with their escapades. In her other life, Allison juggles a regular day job as a marketing executive in a health food organization. At night, when everyone is asleep, she dreams of being a fulltime writer and super hero.