A memo to 21st century parents, written by Igbafe Oluseye
Few weeks ago, I was at the local airport and as I waited in the departure lounge, I noticed there were many children roaming about but it was understandable since it was summer holiday.
One other thing I noticed was the way most of the children were dressed. Most of them, especially the girls, were dressed in bum shorts, halter necks, cut off jeans, etc. The clothes in themselves weren’t the issue per se; it was the overall look of the children that had me bothered. That was definitely not the first time I noticed it.
A few months before, I had taken my kids to a birthday party and found myself in what could easily have been a night club for kids. Scanty clothing such as tight or very short clothes, bum shorts, long weaves, etc, seemed to be the dress code. I noticed my son glancing around, probably wondering, “What in God’s world are these other children wearing?” Or something like that. Not long after, the kids were called out to dance to the hit songs of the season – these songs in my opinion should be rated PG 16. 4 – 6 year olds trooped to the dance floor, miming the sexually explicit songs and gyrating their bodies in the most sensual manner.
They could have given Beyonce a run for her money. They ran their hands over their bodies, shook their booties hard while their parents cheered them on. The boys had their upper shirts unbuttoned and rapped along perfectly to gangsta raps while doing flawless break dance. Those who danced like actual children where shooed off the dance floor while the lewd ones were cheered on. As I watched, my child stared out of this circle looking longingly at the others dancing. I knew it was time to leave.
As we left, we went to an eatery where I bought them ice cream and gently explained to them the concept of decency and dancing with decorum. Another time, at a game arcade for kids, I ran
into a lady who had made-up her kids’ faces like they were mannequins for Tara or Mac beauty products. Their skirts were so tight, that running up and down the slide was uncomfortable for them. So the question is, why are we sexualizing our kids? Why does your 4, 6 or 9 year old girl have to look like a chick? Why does she have to be hot or sexy? Should your 8 year old son go around with a comb in his hair and his pants sagged almost to his ankles?
If your child wears bum shorts out of the house at age 3, why should she be expected to wear longer ones at 15? If she wears 2 rings and 12 bangles at 6, why won’t she pierce a second ear hole at 17 and her bellybutton at 19? Why won’t your son pierce his own ear at 15? Are you setting your children up to be immodest and indecent? What trend are you starting them on? That all these are fashionable or trendy doesn’t mean it’s ok. What happened to children wearing dresses?
Children can look very nice and decent, they can be well covered and still look good. In this age, when children are being abused. Is it wise to make your child an object of anyone’s sexual attention? When I hear some children belt out sexually explicit lyrics, I ask myself how they became exposed to this songs!
As a parent, you can’t play the CD of such songs and not expect your children to pick them up; the same goes for watching Mtv Base, Channel O, etc with your children. Studies have shown that children exposed to a high level of sexually explicit information tend to become sexually active early. Is that your goal as a parent?
Being a parent involves sacrifice. You will need to avoid listening to such music where your children are. Most of those lyrics demean women and teach your daughter that she’s just a sex toy and her body is for squeezing. It teaches the boys that money is everything and women are things to be used to satisfy their primal urges.
We often find ourselves in situations that look like setbacks, like we don’t belong where we are and like we should have gone further than this. Today I was reflecting on certain things I have experienced and I heard these words in my spirit man clearly, “It is a Journey and not a setback.” In my career, I have worked in certain places before and there were times I felt working in those places were career mistakes. Looking back today, it is clear to me that God got me exactly where He wanted me to be when I thought I should not be there.
I am also passing the same message to you today. It is a Journey and not a Setback, and God has got you exactly where He wants you to be. If you are not where you are today, you can’t get to that place you desire tomorrow. With God and His children, there is no mistake. Every mistake, every misstep and error we think we have made are instruments in His hands for the journey to your destination. Stop thinking you have missed it, your journey doesn’t end where you are, unless you end it yourself.
If the Biblical Samson had requested for strength to pull down the building upon his enemies and still live, God would have granted his request, but he chose to die with his enemies. Don’t die in pity, don’t die in that position, you have not exhausted God’s Grace or Mercy, He has got you exactly where He wants you.
Joseph chose to be positive in spite of all his setbacks, and those setbacks proved to be rungs on the ladder to fulfilling destiny. I therefore say to you today, “You are heading towards destiny, stay strong because it is a setup for a comeback and not a setback.”
Have a great night and stay blessed.
Happy New Year to you all. It is my prayer and hope that this year will be far better than all the years we have lived in every aspect of our lives. We will become better persons, achieve greater goals and impact more lives.
One of the things we must do this year to make the prayers above become reality is to combine actions with our prayers. Miracles are supernatural intervention of God in the natural affairs of men, and mostly happen when all natural options have failed. So don’t expect a miracle to become a better person without playing your own part.
One area we have been holding a fallacy as the truth is in the saying that ‘your true friends will accept you as you are.’ We believe that anyone that criticize us is an enemy, and that those who truly love us should accept us just as we are, with all our faults and weaknesses.
I am not sure anyone loves us more than God, yet He demands higher standard and expectations from us as w grow in Him. He expects us to become more and more mature everyday. The things we do and He overlooks when we first know Him, if we keep doing them as our relationship grows, He begins to scold us and point them out for correction. At some time, He might even just ignore us if we refuse to change.
How then do you expect your best friend, whether it is your spouse, friend or parent to just ignore your weaknesses and not point them out for you to correct? Though correction must be done in love, if you keep doing the same thing, and your best friend leave you for not changing, it doesn’t make your best friend an enemy, it only means you are not willing to become a better person.
Iron sharpens iron, and if you are not ready to be sharpened by positive criticism from your friends this year, then you have no right to expect your life to be better this year. More than ever before, we are approaching the age in which only the proven and prepared can survive. You therefore need to be ready to take criticisms from your true friends and change.
You also need to reduce the praise singers around you, they keep you from growing.
Have a great day and remain blessed.