“Protect Your Kids, Poverty Isn’t An Excuse”

"Protect Your Kids, Poverty Isn't An Excuse"

Lately my Facebook Timeline has been one hell of a shitty place with people talking irritating things, subbing each other, fighting for absolutely nothing or basically posting things that are fit for gossip blogs. So when I see a good piece that can touch you as much as it touched me, I unapologetically share. Sue me pleaseEvery parent should read what Deoye Falade wrote about parenting and protecting your children from all forms of abuse:

We have a problem.

A few days ago I got down from the bike just at my street entrance. Just as the bike zoomed off and I was shoving my wallet into my back pocket, I felt someone behind me and looked back – nobody. Then I glanced downward to find a boy standing behind me.

“Hello,” I said, with a smile that I’m not so sure would be appealing – more like the serial killer type. Thank God it was dark. In reality, that was more like saying “Shoo”. I’m not proud to say it but at times I suck at handling kids, plus I didn’t know the boy.

He simply replied, “Uncle come and buy something for me.”

I was a bit taken aback but replied, “Do you know me?”

He said yes, “I saw you one day when you came to polish shoes with your sister at Abdullah’s place.”

That was all this kid needed to believe that he knew me. Abdullah works as a maiguard two streets away and mends shoes to pass time.

“Where’s your mother?”

“She’s inside.”

“So if I knock you out now and whisk you into my bag, your mom will start yelling that her enemies have come for her. Never ask strangers for things. It’s dangerous. Go home kid.”

So I watched him turn and trudge into the dark before going home.

I was bothered though. The issue wasn’t buying stuff for him, but about safety and the fact that he didn’t know it. I live in an area where there’s at least one house without a fence per street. Kids scuttle around that if you’re driving and not careful you’ll mow one down. If you manage to avoid being made an unwilling killer and blare the horn, the yeye mother who can’t watch her kid will yank the poor chump and smack away. On such occasions, I wish I have a frozen turkey in hand just so I can beat her silly with it.

And it’s not just street kids. You sit alone eating a treat and some errant kid comes over like a stray puppy with doe eyes looking for some. They mostly don’t talk, their eyes say it all.

How are parents managing their kids these days? I’m not one, I won’t be for a few years but if I’m not gonna have my hands on deck, I won’t have kids. They’re little humans, not some local fowls you leave to run around and do whatever, approach whoever and ask whatever. Mind them!

Poverty isn’t an excuse. But then, some okay folks miss the mark too. Something is missing, like the kids don’t realise that no matter what, their parents’ got their shit handled.

In 1999, my dad’s business practically collapsed, mom was still on Buba Marwa’s minimum wage and that won’t do jack with 4 kids. I once needed N70 to go to school and pops didn’t have a dime. Dude went out to borrow. That was tough as hell, my dad’s a proud fella – with good reason – but he ensured I or my siblings weren’t exposed to looking elsewhere for what we needed. Mom did a lot of co-operative ish too. If we had to do extra, we did with our parents. We were their responsibility.

Bottom line, no matter what we needed, we looked at our parents. Nowhere else.

So what the hell is going on? It’s not isolated. Look at the Ese in Bayelsa and Sanusi Yellow. Look at tons of kids enticed with peanuts and kidnapped, sexually abused because while their parents probably did the best they could, something was still missing, those kids still felt it’s okay to look at neighbours, shop customers, ‘uncles’ and ‘aunties’ for stuff. So the crazy cycle continues.

Protect your kids, let them know you’ve got their back and if you don’t have what they want at certain times, let them know it’s okay and that it ain’t cool to look elsewhere. Trust me, you can at least do this for 18 years. If not, our children will keep being stolen, raped and wasted.

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1 comment

  1. ????? I love this….When i ist came to ibadan i was shocked at this being practised….its scary, one wonders what values r being nutured into this kids…..

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