What we would love from our parents – Teenagers speak out

We recently had an episode of Wivesroundtable radio show fully dedicated to teenagers. We invited 2 teenage girls on the show and interviewed a lot more of them. We asked them what life was like being a teenager in today’s world, with all the technology and all the westernization.

They let us into their world.

According to 17year old Ify (not her real name), being a teenager now is quite difficult. With boys hounding them everywhere they go – in real life and online. With all the behaviours they have been taught to be bad but which now seems normal like drinking alcohol and having boyfriends with whom they are expected to have sexual relations with. And worse still, having parents who are too busy to pay attention to them. Ify says that she would love to have a closer relationship with her mother but doesn’t know how to go about it since her mother is always so busy trying to make ends meet.

Sophia (18) says she doesn’t see anything wrong in taking alcohol. As far as she is concerned, everything should be in moderation.

When asked what they know about sex and abortions, I was quite taken aback at how much they knew!

Sophia said that the school she just finished from had lots of girls sleeping with the class teachers and getting pregnant. That having a girl come to school straight from an abortion clinic was quite normal. That they knew the teachers and students involved but could not tell anyone about it for fear that they will not be believed

I asked these 2 girls what they advise parents to do for teenagers to help them on the right path and this was what they had to say

Ify: I wish parents will pay more attention. When things start going wrong with us teenagers, anyone who is observant will notice. We get withdrawn and moody. Mothers, especially should be more observant and check for signs. When we begin to withdraw from activities we usually love doing, then they should probe and find out why. Many teens get pregnant and abort the pregnancy all without their mothers knowing. Mothers should be more careful. For the boys as well, their fathers should be there for them. Some boys grow up too fast and want to be men before their time. Their fathers need to know what their sons are up to, to prevent them from joining bad gangs

Sophia: I agree with all Ify said. In addition, I encourage parents to give their girl children most of their needs and some allowances too. This will go a long way in ensuring the girls don’t look to boys/men for money or material things. When girls are well provided for, it can help minimize their dependence on others for these things thereby saving them from a lot of wrong things.

These are the words of our children. These are our kids, trying to help us understand them better. Let us as parents, pay attention and learn from our children. They are, afterall, our pride.

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