Everyone has an opinion about the behaviour – or misbehaviour if you like – of some of our young people today.
From the leaders of this nation to the average folks featured on the Village Voice every day, they all agree that there is something wrong with the way some of our youth are behaving.
They’re not wrong and we must admit that even from where we stand today, the issue is alarming especially when take the notion that the youth of today are the leaders of this nation tomorrow.
But in the pursuit for answers, there are some truths we cannot deny. It reminds the writer about what someone once said that life is like constructing a building: if you start wrong, you’ll end wrong.
Folks, the same can be said about the children of this country, especially the ones growing up in dysfunctional homes.
You see, a home built wrongly can become a very dangerous home.
Dangerous in that whatever a child learns at home, that’s what will influence his or her view of life. It’s the simple truth.
Charity after all begins at home.
Here in Samoa where families are seen as pillars of a strong country, it’s vital that building blocks for a good stable home are laid. There is none more important than the relationship between father and mother.
We say this because this relationship gives a child the first opportunity to learn how to treat others.
Before a young boy/girl is influenced by anyone else in the outside world, their first impression of modelled behaviour comes from their parents.
And when one of the parents behaves badly, how do you think that will affect a child?
A few years ago, we received a letter from a young girl. The young writer requested if it could be published anonymously and we did. It was a sad letter. Part of it reads:
“In every family, there always has to be arguments and fights between our parents. But what they don’t realize is that sometimes, their fights can cause a big downfall in the child’s life.
“Ever since I was a little girl, my parents used to argue about so many things, and being the youngest of our children, I always used to cry and wonder why they would argue. As I grew older, it got worse so that sometimes my mother would pack us all up and we would stay with my grandparents for a week.
“In the year 2006, I finally realized the reason why my parents were always fighting; it was because my father had cheated on my mother.
“I was so hurt when my mother told us. It was up to the point where I wouldn’t acknowledge my father as being my dad or even talk to him. My mother was also hurt but she decided to give my father another chance because we were all so small. I couldn’t bear the pain if my family had broken up.”
“They thought I didn’t know what was happening but I knew it all along from the beginning.”
What motivates a child to bare her soul on a piece of paper for the world to see? Why couldn’t this young girl write about the nice things in life like children her age should?
The answer is simple. You see, what happens between the parents affect the children. And as they grow up, they carry the wounds and scars, every single day of their lives.
There are many children like this young girl in Samoa today.
Truth be told, there are far too many dysfunctional families in this country.
In these families, wives are constantly beaten by their abusive husbands for one reason or another. The same men cheat on their wives as if that’s normal.
Women are not blameless though. Some women cheat on their husbands and somehow we’ve developed an attitude of complacency that says it’s part of life.
All this happens before the eyes of young children.
Ask yourself this; how can abuse and dishonesty be part of life? What kind of message are we sending our young children?
We live in a time where the moral fibre of society is truly being tested. There are problems with violence, drugs, sex and all sorts of issues involving young people. The question is; where do they learn such behaviour?
If you are a parent, don’t blame anyone else. Stop blaming Sione, Simi and Kaloti’s children for your children’s behaviour.
Look at yourself. Do a self-inventory first before you consider looking elsewhere.
The truth is, the unhealthy behaviour of parents do affect the children. And sometimes the damage is irreparable. You then wonder why we have so many problems today. Something to think about today. Just a thought.
Have an awesome Friday Samoa, God bless!