The Conversations African Parents Fail to Have – And the Consequences

Mother and son Davina Diaries The Conversations African Parents Fail to Have - And the Consequences

If you are a millennial and grew up in Nigeria or Africa, you probably know what I want to talk about. Just take it that I’m bringing it back to your notice – more like a reminder.

Sex

The first one is the intentional avoidance of topics surrounding sex, genitals and the biology of sex. Perhaps you know any Nigerian home where topics around sex are discussed, bring it to my notice, please. And if it’s your home, please feel free to tell me how it went in the comment section.

Discussing anything related to sex in a Nigerian home is like asking the devil to visit for a cup of tea. It is avoided like a plague. Even saying ‘I love you’ is a taboo. If a boy told his father he loves him, he could become a gay suspect…the rest is history.

It is so avoided that girls are not taught how to take care of themselves before they start menstruating and, boys are not told that they will begin to have wet dreams at some point in their lives.

The transition from babyhood to adolescence is consistently absent in conversations. Parents that are friends of their children will only ask them about school and their friends; not if they started feeling sexually active.

Unlike a Nigerian mother who said she already started teaching her girl not to allow boys in school touch her in certain body parts, should avoid touching guys private parts and she was already planning to give her girl child serious sex education till she is sure she understands everything she needs to know.

Now, that’s someone who understands the importance of giving children sex education. A mother who understands that avoiding conversation around sex leaves the child asking questions ‘outside’ and learning the bad stuff first.

Even if the parent thinks the child should not be sexually active – or abstain – until a certain age, it does not mean the child shouldn’t learn about sex, contraceptives, anatomy and the other topics that makeup sex education. Sex education is just as important as teaching the child indigenous languages, so why do we leave one for the other.

Sex education, as many will believe does not encourage children to try out sex, it does quite the opposite. There are unconfirmed articles stating that those who receive sex education have sex later than those who were not given.

Consequences

Avoiding sex education breeds children who hardly know that HIV, Hepatitis and other sexually transmitted diseases exist until they are infected.

The child who is not taught sex education does not get the required information to make informed choices about their own values.

Without sex education, children would know little or nothing about physical development, including sexual and reproductive knowledge, gender identity, relationships, friendships, and social issues.

It’s the age of the internet guys – this information is readily available online and any child with a smart device can access it. Oh, you are not giving your child any smart device until he is 18? Okay, but what about his friends?

SEX EDUCATION IS INDISPENSABLE!

Computer

It’s a digital world, 2019, and we still have parents who complain that their children are too inquisitive with gadgets; especially laptops. Parents chase their children away when they see that they are interested in knowing how/what to do with a PC.

It might surprise parents to know that computer education plays an important role in the child’s career development. And, when it is connected to the internet, it becomes the most powerful device that children can use to learn new skills and a better version of what is taught in school.

Computers help children draw creativity by using different software. For instance, if the child was taught fine art in school, using Windows Paint on the computer could help improve the child’s skills. I mean, we talk about the importance of programming every other day and are not helping our children key into this?

Parents are of the opinion that computers lead children to learn such ‘bad things’ as sex, and also become addicted to adult movies.

While this has some element of truth in it, it’s not enough reason to completely deny these young ones access to it, especially if you want them to compete favourably with their mates in the future. Yeah, tech is the now and the future and your child needs to be prepared.

We could buy all the toys for our children but computers are just as important.

Consequences

Children are the future – whether we like it or not – and when we fail to help them understand the world through computers, we also fail to help them explore creativity and imagination.

When Nigerian parents weigh the disadvantages higher than the advantages of equipping their children with computers and discussing their growth with the computer, they fail to see how developed countries like Japan, China, Russia lead the world in such things as technologies, employment, sports, etc.

We should just think about how some other countries are more powerful.

There are other conversations like career paths and sexual orientations but, how about we discuss these two first?

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