BY VICTOR VON NJAGI,
Schools out!!! That statement sends mixed reactions amongst parents and even adults as well but it’s one of the best things that can happen to any teenage who is a student in any part of the world.
Holidays come with their highs and lows for both parents and even teenagers as well, with parents working long hours leaving their children at home to watch over one another, or even some left in the custody of house helps who have little or even no control of the rebellious teenagers.
Some parents result to sending their children upcountry where they are under watchful eyes of their grandparents, however this does not work well with the teens since back at the village there is probably no power connectivity, hangouts joints or even the village neighbors do not have unsecure Wi-Fi. Back in the city the innocent teens are exposed to various vices which are common with the city life and their parents, due to busy schedules do not even have the slightest clue of anything happening until the last minute when things are out of hands.
To start with the most obvious risk lies with the internet, which is innocently accessible to our children courtesy of the parents, from uninterrupted domestic Wi-Fi, connectivity so strong that streaming a movie online is like watching a news bulletin from a local television channel. From social media to online porn sites that do not require a lot of screening for even a 10 year old kid to access Children and teenagers are a prime target for online criminals: major consumers of entertainment content and social networks, they do not have the maturity or experience necessary to discern a dangerous situation or potentially harmful content.
According to multiple studies, more than one child in two has reportedly been approached by a stranger online, and the UN estimate around 750,000 predators are searching for contact with children on the Internet. The best protection against the dangers of the Internet is the education of children in order to raise awareness about wise use of the Web, with clear explanations and examples of behaviors. At school, this role of support and explanation is provided by teachers, at home this role must be carried out by parents or older siblings.
Peer pressure is one of the major cause of change in teen behavior and this is caused by:-
- Fear of rejection.
- Not wanting to be made fun of.
- Not wanting to lose a friend.
- Not wanting to hurt someone’s feelings.
- The desire to appear grown up.
- The desire to appear in control.
- Not having a clear picture of what they want.
- Not understanding how to avoid or handle a situation.
Drugs also pose a threat to teenagers with the entertainment industry being criticized for promoting drug and violence in their content. Teenagers perceive celebrities as their role models, however the same celebrities have questionable lifestyles which are not a perfect case study for young people, from violence, heavy drug abuse and even sex, child behavior are a result of what they consume from media and even among their peers. Cases of children engaging in binge alcohol drinking as they break for holidays and end up in police cells have become popular recently resulting to school administration insisting on parents picking their children from school.
Teenage pregnancy is also a rampant scenario in the society in this decade as a result of sexual experimenting among teenagers .Media exposes children to all form of adult content and even rating of programs has proved to be a difficult hurdle by the concerned authorities. According the World Health Organization (WHO), some 11% of all births worldwide are still to girls aged 15 to 19 years old. The vast majority of these births (95%) occur in low- and middle-income countries.
The 2014 World Health Statistics indicate that the average global birth rate among 15 to 19 year olds is 49 per 1000 girls. Country rates range from 1 to 299 births per 1000 girls, with the highest rates in sub-Saharan Africa.
These pregnancies are as a result to sexual encounters with fellow teenagers and even adults who coerce them in sexual activities.
All said and done, a child upbringing is not only the role of the parents but also the society as the effects of poor upbringing has a ripple effect on the society as a whole. Everyone has a role to play in ensuring that society morals are upheld and that every child is not exposed to immoral behaviors.