Parents, if you want us children to know anything, teach us yourself

Call a spade a spade, so goes the saying. However, when it comes to other issues we go around and fail to speak our mind on what we actually think should be done. This must stop.

I did not have sex until I was a certain age, very older, and that certainly did not bother me at all. In fact, I never told my friends as I did not see how that was any of their business. Those older than me and even my equals at the time who had sex at a younger age would brag about how great sex was and just how many girls they had slept with – as if I ever asked. I mean, why would I ask them when I did not tell them a shit about my sex life.

Those who did not have sex were seen and perceived by their equal as “Sisis” or gays. Worse, this is exactly how the society saw them too, myself included. It used to worry me that sometime one felt like one could go and f*** every girl in the community I could lay my sharper-boy hands on but that would have taken some kill which I had not much of unless of course you met one of those who had fallen for every boy passing by. But being the person I was then, I let ‘em pass.

There have been instances in that when coming home – for those of us who had the opportunity to go to universities or colleges elsewhere and or work far away from home and only come home one in a while – we would hear of gruesome stories whereby girls became mothers while boys younger than me were fathers. This, unfortunately, at the time when they are jobless. Honestly, I do not get it.

Why have sex carelessly and make as many babies as God still gives you the gift to and fail to provide for them?

Boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen,

Let us stop using our poverty reason for having chosen to have so many babies, many of whom have been abandoned by us their fathers or thrown in the dust bins by their fresh-and-blood mothers, nogal, with some fathers saying: “I was not alone”. This “I was not alone” is often found where girls are said to have had more than one partner and come fathering time, we guys would say: “Ke ne ke se mongwe”. Sies! What’s worse is that many parents, I have observed, do allow these things to happen under their roof. Or maybe our behaviour, as we grow, is somewhat related to how we were raised?

As a young boy who great up I a village herding livestock as at the age of 9 and even when I was at university (many of my friends do not believe this and I certainly do not expect them to. They weren’t there, so why should I expect them to believe that?), I never had a girlfriend until I was of a certain age. And even at that time, I did not let it show, not to my siblings, mother or friends or the entire family. And even during that time, I did not have sex because I did not want to be like “them”. So I avoided sex as I possibly could.

That I had to do it to please so and so was not important to me. Further and even to date, I had never invited any of my former girlfriends to Papa’s house. Never. This not only because I was afraid of Papa – and he was one father you would not want to mess with – but because I respected him as my father, a parent and his house too. The thought of kids younger than me bringing over their girlfriends to sleep over at their parents’ house irks the hell out of me. And it is worse when parents allow that.

We are what we are today because our parents let us be.

You may not agree with this but I know for sure than today and in this present day that children or pupils as young as 10 years of age, if not from younger than that, know everything about sex and ‘relationships’. Further, kids know a hell lot more than we think they do. Adding to this, there is ‘life Orientation’ in schools and others knew about the subject long before they reached a grade where it is taught. So I do not see how recent media reports suggesting that unwanted babies made negligently be dropped in a ‘baby safe’ would instill sexual discipline in many of our youth, many of whom will be or are to be future leaders if they are act the part.

Of course an initiative like this would be welcome, however, the problem is whether it will not encourage kids into having as many babies as they still can knowing very well that upon their families turning them down to help in looking after those babies, they will have somewhere to dump them.

When I went home I heard of a friend’s younger sister who apparently told his old sisters and brothers that they should not even think for a moment that she cannot bear children herself. This, I was told, after she was told to stop going out at night (with boys).

When I spoke to the girl myself, asking what grade she was doing, she told me she was in Grade 9 (former Standard 7). This is the same grade/class as my younger sister is doing but she (my younger sister) is not doing that which this other girl was apparently doing: she is not hanging out with boys or jolling (if you like) like many of her peers are, she’s not a ‘straatmyt’ as many of the ‘other girls’ are in my community. By this I am not saying she (my younger sister) is perfect, but what I am trying to say is that she has been taught what is right from what is wrong. She knows that going out at night, even at her age (13/14) is not allowed at home. Not by us her siblings, not her father and certainly not even her mother. We would kill the hell out of her. Or rather, we instilled discipline in her.

And it is not only kids doing this but there are parents, too, who are having as many babies for as long as they live, with some even having up to four or five children and with different fathers. That’s nonsense, if you ask me.

The other thing worth mentioning is that with the high rate of HIV/AIDS infections that were are having in our country – we need to address this issue immediately as we possible can. Our failure, as a society, to talk to our children about this and many other important issues at an early age will result in having or bearing babies many of whom are likely to be affected with HIV/AIDS or other deadly diseases. To do this, I would suggest we do the following:

  • Talk to your children while they are young about sex as their mother, father, sister, brother or as a family,
  • Never underestimate the knowledge your children may have about sex,
  • Kids are smart and learn fast,
  • If you don’t teach your children, they will be taught “streetwise” which is even more dangerous,
  • Have rules in your household, but not a prison,
  • Be tolerant and understanding and learn to trust your children,
  • Draw the line,
  • Be firm in your discipline,
  • Do punish for rules breached,
  • If you want your children to know anything or something, teach them yourself and don’t let the outside society to do it for you or they might unteach them,
  • It is possible to abstain from sex for whoever long you feel comfortable,
  • Sex is not love and love is not sex.

With these and many other suggestions we will raise caring and responsible parents.

And lastly but not least, if you don’t want babies, stop having sex….

DISCLAIMER: I do not have kids of my own to know how difficult it is to raise kid (on your own) and I certainly do not need to be a parent to know what’s good for a(single) parent when raising his/her children. I was raised by a single parent who worked as a domestic worker. At the time when my mother’s family reported my birth to my father’s family, his mother (Papa told me) apparently said my father was not the only person in the village with a p*** to make a baby.

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