Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Addressing issues of unwholesome relationships

Addressing issues of unwholesome relationships


Relationship according to Joseph Anwatim is one of the biggest ships  in the world. A big ship capable of sinking if wrongly steered and capable of guiding home its inhabitants if properly rowed. Relationship is the binding force of every institution beginning from the home to workplaces, organizations, markets, classrooms, churches etc. It is an indispensable tool for the progress of every venture in life. 

Depending on how it is nurtured, a relationship can be a calm in storms, might in times of sickness and a balm in times of pain. It can as well be a thorn in the flesh and a pain in the neck. Many who have towed this path will attest that keeping and maintaining a relationship isn’t a child’s play. A relationship requires almost all the ingredients needed to ensure a lasting marriage hence, it is advised that those unready for the task of nurturing a relationship should not attempt going to it. Sadly, most people do not feel there is more to sustaining a relationship than just being friends so, they end up soiling and abusing theirs due to their inexperience. 
Perhaps, the inability of some to stay alone without a friend to exchange opinions, share feelings and seek advice is the reason for the numerous unwholesome relationships around town but this does not justify their ugly existences which have increased the spate of misconducts and irregularities in the society. Friendship they say, is a matter of choice and not by force and as such, there is no law biblical, legal or constitutional that pressurizes anyone to go into a relationship. 

The rate at which the younger generation have taken advantage of relationship is the focus of this piece. Many teenagers have now taken to keeping friends of the opposite sex for reasons they themselves cannot justify. This norm which has become the in-thing in our society is alarming judging from their actions, appearances, utterances and reactions. Until lately, a responsible child was measured by the totality of his/her humility, respect for others, obedience, responsibility, dressing and use of words. Relationships with the opposite sex was made transparent and closely monitored by parents and no child dared to do anything capable of bringing down the reputation of their family. Children of this category were used as models by mothers of erring kids who wish their wards were like the afore-mentioned ones. And the parents of such disciplined kids were highly esteemed and lauded for raising such responsible children. Sadly, the opposite has become the topic for this generation. What we see today is a direct opposite of what used to be. Our teenagers have thrown their sense of decency into the wind and go about conscienceless. 

It is now common to see a boy and a girl of almost the same age grade coupling and wrapping arms around themselves in the full view of the public with some having more temerity to introduce their ‘friend’ to their parents and even excusing elderly ones to go back to them. Very recently, a boy of 17 was reported to have taken his girlfriend of 16 home to his home in his parent’s absence. The girl was said to have spent over 3weeeks there amidst stern rebukes from neighbours who were later informed by the boy that she was a family friend. But the truth came spilling when they were caught in the act! On the boy’s family bed. 

Many of our teenagers like the above-mentioned have gone wild and wiser than they should due to one or more of the following reasons. The first is the inability of their parents to properly train them. In an interview with THE PUNCH sometimes ago, a women affairs analyst noted that today’s generation of mothers are half-baked. Half-baked in the sense that many of them do no longer know their responsibilities, let alone, exercising them. Gone are the days when mothers used to place injunctions, threats (even though empty) and punishments on children who derailed from set pattern of actions. Mothers then were just good enough examples for their children in all ramifications such that every child longed to be like their mother. These were the days when the child was spared and the rod, spoiled. 

But what goes on today is so far from the past that one may wonder if that generation of mothers are all gone. A typical mother today withholds correction form the child for fear of hurting the ‘young child’ and takes personal any attempt from anyone to do same (including the father). She encourages their children  to reciprocate any act they consider unfavourable irrespective of who is the cause, she spoils them with gifts and pets them heavily, she sees nothing wrong in their mode of dressing and even buys them more of the ‘in-vogue’ wears.     And most sadly, she encourages them to be social with the opposite sex especially, and even organises many of such relationships for those who are too timid to do ‘it on’ their own. Our mothers have not done well at all.

Another reason is the laxity of the community in which we now find ourselves. In those days too, every child belonged to the family and community at large such that discipline was carried out at the family and community level. No one closed their eyes to any ill and would not resist cautioning an erring child even before the parents concerned did theirs. But the society of today seems to be ignorant of these unwholesome practices which have resulted in a handful of abortion, numerous deaths, spread of diseases and the likes. No elder is really interested in cautioning an erring child for a wrong done and no institution is condemning same either. Rather, the trend is swiftly changing to a ‘cover-up’ system where those who should rebuke are covering-up ills. Thus, illicit acts go on in our societies unabated. 

The issue of peer pressure and influence has always been a reason in these matters and will always be. It is therefore advised that parents pay close attention to their wards’ acquaintance(s) as well as their activities. 

The effects of unwholesome relationships include: unwanted pregnancy, promiscuity, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and other ill effects. Basically, a child who has been exposed to fornication at adolescent is likely to become radical and wild suddenly after having a taste of the experience, and such children according to studies, are known to lose their sense of decency, dignity, respect and responsibility.  

Rather than being promiscuous, it is advised that those having the craving for companionship should get married which pays better than frolicking around with the opposite sex without any plan for the future. 

Parents and the society should do all they can to instil moral values and rectitude in the minds of their teenagers. Unwholesome relationships are detrimental to the health of our children and should not be encouraged. All hands should therefore be on deck to ensure that unwholesome relationships are eradicated at all cost.

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