Fesili Malatai, from the village of Papauta, says we must always remember that the younger generation is watching.
He says that in everything you do, you will be setting an example which the young will follow. If you cause trouble then they will learn to do the same and vice versa. Aged 43, Fesili is adamant that the cause of the troublesome youth of today is the adults who teach them through their actions.
“The one thing we have to remember is that we are always setting examples,” he told the Village Voice.
“It is wise to not go around causing trouble because you will see young people following exactly what you are doing and that starts a cycle of bad behaviour.
“An example is you and I, I am many years older than you and if I do something bad then you might think that it’s right because someone older than you is doing it.
“We have to always be mindful about what you teach to those younger than you.”
His message for the young is to learn as much as you can from the experiences of those older than you so you won’t end up making the same mistakes.
“Another important thing we should remember is to know your place and how to respect your elders,” Fesili said.
“If someone older than you tells you to stop something which they did when they were younger then listen to them. They have been through it and have experienced why it is bad so listening to them is wise.
“Don’t turn around and say that it’s ok because they did it too; that’s not how it works. You must learn from the experience of those older than you.”
Fesili says that a solution to this issue is to have more communication within a family.
“Many people complain about the youth these days but let me tell you why they are like that,” he said.
“I have noticed a lot less communication within families; there is not enough one on one times between parents and their children.
“Nowadays when a family has their devotion you can see the young people making their way out of the house and going off to do their own thing.
“Devotion and family times are very important because that’s where a parent can teach and discipline their children.”
And on the subject of discipline, Fesili says that he endorses smacking children only if you know how to do it properly.
He explains that there are two kinds of smack, one that will teach the child and one that is abuse.
“Another problem is that the world is trying to stop the disciplining of children,” Fesili said.
“It’s good to understand that there are two types of discipline, there are useful smacks which teach the children and there is abuse which does nothing but harm the child.
“I feel that we should be able to still smack our children but only to a certain extent. We should smack to teach and not take our full anger out on them which makes us go overboard.
“Before you discipline your children, you have to learn how to first.”