Mrs. Lily Nafula a Senior Principal Magistrate from Uasin Gishu court. Charged Benson Kimatu an Eldoret-based bar owner with selling alcohol and drugs to minors recently. This was after over 500 school going boys and girls were rounded up while allegedly in possession of drugs, consuming alcohol, engaging in sex orgies and many more. The most puzzling aspect of this story is that majority of those who were arrested were reported to be in the age bracket of 12 to 18 years, in most terms, minors.
To make this story succinct, most of those who were arrested in Eldoret were school going children with no identity cards. Most parents were reported to have confessed that they had been tricked by their children who used excusable alibis to find escape into the ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’ den.
This circus of school going children being rounded up while drunk, disorderly and engaging in sex is becoming rampant. Perhaps it is time to ask ourselves if intervention on a social level is necessary, and are parents doing enough to police their children?
Below are some of the reasons responsible for the Moral decay of our teens.
Our grandparents used to tell us our children were being punished if they behaved contrarily to the norms. Any elderly person was expected to offer guidance. A child was meant for the community and so was the woman or a wife. This kind of mindset inculcated discipline and morality was never at stake. However, the contemporary society is where almost only parents can correct their children. Not even uncles, aunts, or cousins can play a part. Children are feeling less heat with more liberty to the extent that they assume that they are grown. This sort of freedom is the reason why today’s child feel less indebted to the society. Society has detached from its initial parenting and oversight duty.
Parenting cannot be done in absentia. Unfortunately as it seems, many Kenyan parents perhaps have fallen victims of being absent parents who are though active financially. Let us try to borrow from the tales once told to us by most of our departed grandparents or relatives. Girls need to be closer to their mothers and so boys to their fathers. Why? It is because they need borrow a few things from them. But if parents have giant share of their time for work. The children will not know the correct time to engage in sexual intercourse or even its perilous outcomes. Parents who have devoted almost all their time for work and have no time for their children may have just to grapple with their children’s queer behaviours.
‘Too flexible’ religious teachings
Most Christian religions are adopting the ‘be flexible’ approach. Perhaps after realizing that they do not need to criticize young people to drag them to church, they have adopted an accommodating policy where doctrines are twisted to appease the young people. If I got lost in this, maybe you have seen these churches with expensive PA systems that allow dance crews who frequent the pulpit with secular moves? Right! As a result, children are not raised as Christians by morals or faith, but just as ‘church goers’. The shallow preaching of gospel devoid of moral correction is what makes these children hold so loosely to their faith. They end up thinking that by dancing so secularly in church and ‘raving’ occasionally, one gets a ticket to heaven.
Leniency in schools
Usually, schools are the factories that make men and out of boys, girls are shaped into iconic women in the society. It would be barbaric to find a school that abets immorality such as alcohol consumption, or other drugs and other vices. Nonetheless, the turning point that fueled the problem was the ban on corporal punishment. Schools can suspend or expel but at the end of it, some of the students will still remain unchanged because even their parents do not know their real behaviours. They spend less time with them. Most people who went to high school some years back still remember their harshest teachers but not in a bad way. But the reason is-they changed their lives.
It must barely two decades since the first mobile phone landed in Kenya. But one thing all can agree on is that technology is advancing faster like the flash of lightning. Right now, any average phone can has internet connections and any person can upload images and send a few texts. In brief, the rot in children’s behavior is aided by the resurgent social media. How does this happen? Your daughter or son probably can easily track and follow the socialites in Nairobi or even strive to have a taste of new alcoholic drink in the market that is seen in that flashy advertisement in your TV before 9pm news. After that, you can tell where curiosity takes them to.
Friends are pertinent components of us in society. Whereas, we cannot choose who to be our friends, our behaviours perhaps can guide us to fall within the right and desired groups. That is how we make friends naturally. On normal circumstances people borrow ideas. For those who are mature and capable of personal judgment and decision making, ‘their friends’ influence do not matter much. On the sides of young school going children, they are always yearning to have new experiences. The so called new experiences become desirable and testable for them especially if friends have praised them before them. Peer group influence has been there ever since but it is still dangerous when wrongly applied. It elicits curiosity for testing the good and the bad.
‘Sexualized’ Media content
We have the technology and the media is getting refurbished but not necessarily positively, each day. Our culture as it has been has been tailored to define the beauty as a construction of femininity. That is why we spot billboards with images of women. This is not a big problem to our children. Than what is the problem? The problem is that most models used in the advertisements are either fully or half nude. The pictures children spot in the magazines and TVs make them think that nude dressing is fashionable. They grow up with that mentality and they get to experiment even more. Magazines that cover entertainment stories or features are the main culprits of portraying ‘sexualized media’ content.
Brainwashing pop culture
No one is inseparable with leisure or hobby. At least everyone has one. Listening to music or watching movies are the most predominant ones. Apparently, that is where most young people fall as they associate music and movies to the epitome of entertainment and relish. In the music industry the pop culture is known with new hairstyles, accent and dressing codes. Various rumours have surfaced that link famous musicians with drug use or sexual immorality. Think of it this way, if youth can emulate their accents, hairstyles, dressing codes (however barbaric they are), why not what they consume? Be it alcohol, heroin, cocaine or producing sex tapes? Food for thought. It is just the influence of pop culture.
Spontaneous and premature curiosity
Sometimes peer groups can be blamed much for the vices. But little do we know that some of the motivations that people get for trying newer things are somewhat intrinsic. Say a young boy who has seen his cousin or uncle put on some clothe ma just want to try it just to see how it looks on him, right? The same way, some can do soul searching and begin to think, “I really need to try this wine as see how it happens”. This can be aggravated by the first-hand account of how he or she has witnessed the use a substance, say cigarette. A child may develop personal motivation to try sexual intercourse, not that she has been influenced but just the personal curiosity.
Lack of proper guidance on morals
Some parents may assume that just like they learnt a few life tips on their own, their children therefore must do the same. However, people are different in this world. People learn differently. Due to many factors involved such as friends, technology and need for self-gratification these children can end up messing their lives. This is because they have not been guided on what is wrong and what is noble, no justification has been given. This is why many school going young people are staring at the dangers in life.