Letters & Opinion, Sounding Off

The Naughty Generation

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By Rochelle Gonzales
By Rochelle Gonzales

AM I the only one who is not only scared of the children of this new generation but scared FOR them too?

Surely Not!

I could say that it is mind-boggling to try to understand them, what, why and how they are think of whatever it is that they are thinking of but the answers are right there in our faces and like it or not…there is nothing we can do about it.

What happened to the days when climbing a tree, racing in the backyard, playing Ticky Toc and Chinese Skip was the activity to be at the centre of?

Gone are the days of the 70s, 80s and 90s type of fun and it’s hello the children of the naughties.

Now, many might disagree with me on this one, but…I can’t blame the children entirely for the activities that they emulate.

The Cyber world has grown into one of the biggest monsters in existence and whilst we as parents may try until we’re blue in the face to teach our children about being their own people, don’t follow trends like sheep in a flock, don’t bow to peer pressure, these children and their individual minds will do just as they please when they get the chance to.

As a parent, I try my best to shield my children from the vastness of the internet but the vastness reaches them. For example, my daughter and her cousin of the same age were telling myself and best friend about the true meaning of Nicki Minaj’s song “Anaconda” over the weekend…how does she even know that song?

I was baffled because I’m a drill sergeant with my children and I’m very strict about what I allow them to see and listen to, but did that stop her from knowing the words to the song? No!

Let’s look at the case of the 16 year old who almost lost his life after setting himself alight last week Wednesday.

He did it after seeing countless videos all over social media of U.S. teenagers doing the same thing where they place flammable liquid all over their bodies, set themselves alight and jump in the bath to douse the flames.

The youngster who tried to emulate what he saw was the first reported case of such incidents taking place on our shores and he just happened to be one of the unlucky ones.

I can already hear the baying crowds calling him all sorts and blaming him for being all sorts and calling the parents who allowed it to happen all sorts…just STOP already.

Children are sponges. They are the easiest individuals to coax, inspire and lead and the monster which is the internet or the people behind it know just that, so they use it for all its worth to target those easily swayed little people and mould them into whatever they desire.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, parents/guardians play a major part when they continuously speak to the children about the dangers lurking out there just waiting for them, however at a certain point, whether we like it or no, they eventually fly from the nest and get tastes of life away from under our protective wings.

At this point, we are left with two options: 1. We pray harder than we ever did before and hope that all our hard work and talking has stuck in the heads of our young ones and they end up carrying bright, strong heads on their shoulders and come out alive and well or 2. we say to heck with it and we treat our children like “Carrie” from the horror film or like prisoners and lock them away from the rest of the world in an attic with no friends, phones, television or computer.

Now I don’t know about you but one of those options sounds pretty psychotic to me.

Now before you jump on the bandwagon and condemn the children, just remember that we were once children who acted out, albeit not in such extreme ways, but we did things that we considered fun but would make the minds of adults spin.

The children of the naughties are bored and since they don’t know the joys of the great outdoors, they look to the monster to show them the way and when they see others their age doing things, you can bet your bottom dollar that others will follow, and like I said earlier, we can only hope, pray and beg them not to follow.

I think the onus is on us responsible adults to put ourselves out there and learn what they are learning and dig into the latest trends so that we can be vigilant and recognise the signs if our youngsters are showing interest in what’s out there.

Technology is here and now and it’s got our children hooked like moths to flames so we should have no excuse when it comes to educating ourselves about what’s out there. Being in the dark is overrated and not to mention dangerous so put yourselves out there, parents, and although it is difficult and tedious, we just might end up being in the know just enough to save our children.

Rochelle entered the Media fraternity in May 2011 as a fresh-faced young woman with a passion for the English language, a thirst for worldly knowledge and a longing to inform the world of what was happening around them, whether it was good or bad.

She began as part of a small news team at Choice Television, which falls under the MediaZone umbrella. She was hired as one of the original members of the newly created Choice News Now team...Read full bio...

 

1 Comment

  1. In this instance I think the boy has had enough punishment, and hopefully he will recover. Let this be a lesson to all the other kids who cannot think for themselves .

    In general, there is a parenting problem (or lack of) on the island. Too many children are born without proper planning to develop them, they are just left to their own devices. Not enough is done to ensure the parents are on the hook for the acts of the children, that is why there is no accountability – because the parent don’t care. When they themselves will be charged with negligence, maybe that might set an example to the others.

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