Someone asked a question on Facebook saying “how do we prevent teenage girls from getting pregnant tomorrow?” The question struck a chord but at the same time showed the discrepancies of parenting. I am aware that some teenage girls have no parents, I am aware some have just one parent and I am aware that some have been exposed early enough to a life they shouldn’t have been awakened into.
The question shouldn’t have been asked in the first place if most teenage girls are under the care of good parents who knows what they should do in the life of their girls as parents.
PARENTS SHOULD FILL THE SPACE
There is a vacuum in the lives of your kids. These vacuums must be filled somehow. The major vacuums are what I call:
- The vacuum for a father figure
- The vacuum for a mother figure
- The vacuum for a friendship figure
- The vacuum for intimacy
Many times, we are successful in filling the vacuum of parenting but we miss it when it comes to friendship and intimacy. For a single parent, the job becomes even much tougher because you must play the role of many persons at the same time.
One of the reasons your teenage girl may be so excited about valentine to spend it with a boy who has been deceiving her with love is because that boy is filling a vacuum that you are meant to fill until your child becomes very mature to determine who is better qualified for that space.
Tomorrow is valentine. What is your plan for your children? Will you simply command them to stay indoor and threaten to beat them if they go out or will you rather choose to be their supposed valentine? Will you choose to buy them flower, give them gifts and tell them how much you love them and how much you want them to become better than allow the deceiver to be their first?
There is always an advantage to anyone who is the first to do something in the life of another. One of the advantages is that you can teach them how to be treated and how not to be treated. You can show them a true example of what love is. We often define a product using the very first similar product that we encountered and had an experience with.
For example, in Nigeria, no matter what you name your noodle product, people would still ask “do you have indomie?” They do not mean Indomie as a brand, they have replaced the word noodle with indomie. In some places too, the same thing happens with detergent and omo, people would ask “do you have omo?” When they would rather ask “do you have powered detergent?”
When you play the first friendship role in the life of your kids, they will learn to trust you and learn to open up to you. The vacuum for intimacy can be filled when you begin to open up to your kids about very deep subjects like sex, relationship, marriage and so on. You should be very engaged in every step your child takes but how can your child carry you along when you sound and act so judgmental?
If you scold your child when you find him or her with the opposite sex, how do you think they can open up to you about their relationship? When they don’t open up to you about their relationship, how do you think the can tell you the advances their friends are making towards them?
TELL YOUR CHILDREN THE TRUTH
Whatever you don’t teach your kids or whatever vacuum you don’t fill in the lives of your kids, someone else will fill it. Whatever you try hiding from your kids, someone else will expose them to it. So why hide it in the first place? Why not make your kids feel so comfortable to open up to you about certain things in their lives?
We talk about stopping teenage pregnancy, how about also stopping dangerous methods of abortion that leave our girls damaged? All of these birds can be killed with one stone! When a child can’t open up to her parents, she also won’t open up to them when she eventually enters a problem? When she discover she is pregnant, one of the reasons she may opt for abortion is to hide it! Some teenage girls have had more than one abortion yet they live with their parents who can swear with the grave of their ancestors that their girl child is still a virgin!
Being mean to your kids and being overprotective will only end up damaging your children for life! Why not play the role of parenting, the role of friendship and also fill those vacuum that desires some level of intimacy the way you can? Why not tell them how you met their father? How you met other male friends? How it is dangerous to keep relationships secret and how you are willing to guide them in their relationships to make the right choices?
This isn’t only about the teenage girls but also our teenage boys who go on an unhealthy sexual adventure with their female counterparts without knowing the consequences and without guidance! However, I am particular about the teenage girls because they seem to bear the damage a lot. Nature to a lesser extent and our societies to a larger extent has been structured in such a way that the female bears the mark of the sexual activities they engaged in with their male counterpart!
Who gets her hymen broken? The girl! Who gets pregnant? The girl! Who is discriminated against and judged by her parents? The girl! Who is victimized even when abused? The girl!
This is why we must protect the girl by all means from the society that has been designed against her both in her mistakes and in her success!
I believe it begins with parenting. If we should get it right in parenting, most of the job is done! I believe being a parent doesn’t just mean filling the vacuum of a father or mother figure but also becoming your kids first best friend and someone he or she can confide in to share his or her deep secrets! I also believe that our kids should learn how to love and how to be loved from us before experiencing the love of others.
How about those without parents? We can save them too by filling those vacuum and becoming a parent to them! One by one, we keep changing lives!
I call you blessed.