My dear parents, I am sure you have heard that this era we are living in is the Information Age. Problem is, the information is so pervasive that we are overloaded by information. Our senses are getting dulled by being bombarded with more information than we can digest at any given moment.
However, in the midst of all this knowledge cacophony, are we paying attention to the kind of information our children are picking up?
Before we were parents, we were once teenagers and can recall how we were preoccupied with thoughts about sex. In those good old days, it was in our thoughts – period! But compared to teenagers today, we rarely had any opportunity to express our thoughts. However, with all sorts of communication gadgets from computers to cell phones, the tools of self-expression are in the hands of today’s teenagers. Quite a number of these teens are indeed “expressing” themselves. When your teen seems so engrossed in what you may think is an innocent conversation, you may be taken aback by what he or she is typing. The sending, receiving, or forwarding sexually explicit messages, photographs or images via mobile platforms – known as sexting – is quite prevalent among teenagers.
What your kids know these days will leave you flabbergasted and dumbfounded. Things you have not and could not imagine when you were their age. Things you did not know or may not even know now, nor even be aware of. Parents, I advise you get up to speed on this. Go online yourselves and be familiar with the acronyms and emojis the not so savory terms that teens are using these days. Keep an eye on what your children are watching and reading online – have parental controls on devices. The world is changing or should I say changed drastically, we as parents have to learn and keep up with these changes, to enable us to impart the best advice at the right time to our children.
Charles O. Anyiam-Osigwe is the co-author of HIV/AIDS Education Quiz Book to be updated and republished under the Pride Publications imprint in late 2018. He is also the co-author of Things I Wish Mummy and Daddy Told Me About Sex: A Sex Education Quiz Book to be published by Pride Publications in early 2019.