HOST: Good-day viewers out there, you’re welcome to your favourite T.V show “Teens Corner”, I remain your host Adenike Omoboriowo.
Today, we will be sharing a very sensitive topic titled “Things Parents Think Teens Don’t Know About”
As children grow, they begin to attain the stage of Adolescence where they do not only grow physically and emotionally but they also grow intellectually. At this stage, they inquire about a lot of things, they want to know what is what, and this is the point in their life where they need communication with their parents most. Unfortunately, many parents fail in this area, refusing to educate and answer questions from their curious teenagers. They feel they are still too young to know what is already known to them; but on the contrary, these teens know more than the parents do as the T.V, Magazines, internet and friends substitute for their role in educating them.
This morning, here with me are teenagers who are ready to say it all out. Without wasting time let’s begin with my first guest, Bode
BODE: I’m 17 yrs, I came from a family of four and I’m the eldest, my challenge is my parents. Things are getting worst day by day between them. They fight before going to bed and wake up to continue. It’s becoming too much and it’s tearing me apart. The worst part is that they never believe that I and my siblings are affected. At my age, they still believe I’m blind to all that it’s happening. People just come to my house and believe things are perfect because my dad is an Elder and my mum a Deaconess. I’m sick of their life of pretence.
HOST: How does it all happen?
BODE: Uhm! I don’t actually want to talk about that, but I will! It all got blown open when my Dad refused to give up on alcohol even after being made an Elder in church, he comes home drunk every weekend and when my Mummy raises up her voice, he would lock the door and starts beats her up, believing we won’t know but we do. She is presently threatening to pack out. I’ve been praying, God is telling me to be strong, but my ‘strong’ is broke.
HOST: That’s serious! Parents’ insensitivity to their children’s emotions. We’ll come back to you. Let’s hear from our second guest, Tade.
TADE: I don’t really know what to call my own class of challenge.
HOST: Go ahead and just explain.
TADE: Okay, my parents are quite wealthy and they’ve been able to meet all our needs. I do really thank God for that; but the issue is that their pursuit of wealth is affecting me… they don’t know me! They never create time to be with us not even on holidays, they only drop money for us to get whatever we want. I grew up at the mercy of our “maid-turned-mother”, who locks us up on the instruction of my parents, and now that I’m 18, I can’t relate well with people because I just can’t. The day I poured out my mind to my dad about finding time for us especially for my siblings because as for me, I am already used to it. You won’t just believe his reaction, he flared up and called me an ingrate, that all he’s doing is all for us, asking me if I want him to give up his job for us. I was disappointed, and since then, I gave up trying.
HOST: Thanks Tade, let’s hear you John.
JOHN: Mine is different but I believe all teens will relate with it. I don’t know if my parents know about pornography, but I do! They don’t all know of my struggle with pornography, but I do struggle with it! It’s all over me, in the T.V, Magazine and Internet. I don’t know how to break off it.
HOST: Have you ever discussed it with your parents?
JOHN: You want to kill me! Nobody in my family has ever taken cognizance of the fact that I’m growing, my parents never talked to me about such things. I have free access of exposure to watch whatever I deem fit. To worsen the matter, there is a shop close to my house where such pornographic magazines and videos are sold, my parents know about it but just believe I can never go there, but I do. On a day I mistakenly told my mum that I was going to get a C.D from the shop, she flared up, wanting to know why I would go there and sternly warned me never to go there. When I asked why, she gave no reply, just insisted that I should not go there. Isn’t that odd?
• I know your mum thought you’ve never been there before, but she was wrong. This is one of the problems of parent-child communication, parents treating teens like babies, asking them to stay away from things without giving relevant reasons.
• Let’s hear your view Bukky
BUKKY: Mine is quite interesting, although kind of similar to John’s. My parents always avoid the sex topic or maybe they are afraid of the unknown result. I do everything possible to get them open up to me and if my mum wants to guide me, all she says is that “Hen, Bukky, the things that married people do to have children, don’t do it o” and I’m always like “what should I not do” but she will just go blank. It isn’t that I don’t know what she’s talking about, infact who wouldn’t know in this age where sex display is everywhere even in cartoon movies meant for children. I just want to hear from them but if I keep asking, they will begin to take me for a promiscuous child.
HOST: That’s serious, how do you mean?
BUKKY: Here is an illustration, whenever we are watching movie together and any sexual display shows up, all they do is change the channel and when I ask why, they tell me it isn’t meant for me. For crying out loud, am 17 years, instead for them to discuss with me, they only try to hide what I already known. Infact, they believe I’m a Pope.
HOST: This is quite revealing! Seun, what do you have to say about this?
SEUN: Bukky is totally right, my experience also falls in the same class of challenge. My mum thinks I’m too young to talk to boys even at age 17+, she won’t allow me move with them, checking my phone every now and then, asking me to stay away from boys’ but she never for once sit me down to advice me as a mother. The irony of it all is that she still never got to know about the fact that I already have a boyfriend for almost 2yrs now. One day I asked her why she was treating me like a 7yrs old baby and she said “Don’t mix up with them unless you want to have a baby”. I almost bursted into wild laughter; for God’s, am an adult, talk to me as one; if you don’t, life experience will. Actually, I knew what she was talking about but she made the wrong approach, she was trying to prevent me from having sex which will lead to pregnancy but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t talk with them.
HOST: Uhm! Am speechless, viewers and parents out there, you’ve heard it all. More is still to come. Join me in our next edition for the concluding part of this series titled “Things Parents Think Teens Don’t Know About”. Till then, Parents don’t forget “If you don’t train them, don’t blame them”