Allow me to join commentary frenzy that has gripped the country after Sunday's heart wrenching accident which claimed the lives of three young budding youths. The circumstances surrounding the incident are tragic and have been documented countless time, with numerous Facebook pages pouring tributes to the late twin and their friend.
However, a midst the sorrow, sympathy and compassionate feelings, Tobagodaily is forced to ask the questions, where are our parents? Do we really have parents? Or do we just retain our biologically relationship for the offsprings we bring into this world.
Tobagodaily remains perplexed and bewildered as to how parents would allow children (little school age children) to dress up, small purse in hand (with probably no vex monies), be taxied to parties, returning home at an ungodly hour, knowing fully well that exams are ongoing. What parent does that? Further, it begs an explanation when a parent, yes a 'parent' speaking to a Daily News Paper indicates that weeks before exams are scheduled to finish, plans are in motion to attend Zen night club for celebration of the close of exams and as if that wasn't enough, tickets were already bought for them to spree in Tobago over the July/August holidays with friends.
Without being antiquated, back in the day, when students would have finished exams, you would have been lucky to have the luxury of spending extra time in town, getting on your games (which by the way was tucked away during exams) spending time by friends which of-course would not have been at 4.am, or you may have had the reward of a trip with responsible adult/s. Where has our parents disappeared to?. Mommy always said, "the Dog must waggle the Tail and not the Tail to waggle the Dog". Something is wrong, fundamentally wrong, when parents feel comfortable sending young kids, barely legal, especially young ladies to party as if it were the only reward to hard work. How has society become numb, immune and accepting to this idea and behavior.
Why do we feel the urge to Party and Drink for Birthdays?. Why are birthdays used as moments of revelry, rather than reflection and planning? It seems that society have changed and so has our parenting styles. A glance of a lead story in the Express newspaper I TOLD THEM NOT TO GO seem to indicate that parents are prepared to entrust their kids into the hands of strangers. Here, the words speak volumes "The girls went in the car and the boy speed off from here"."I called my daughters and said ‘tell that boy don’t drive like that’.“I called and asked them who dropping them home and they said the same boy. As a parent, we must not be passive but rather active in knowing the friends to whom your kids associate. Why should a parent be satisfied with the name of a given driver who is going to transport my kids as "that boy" or "the same boy".
Psychology teaches of parental investment. One must always be cognizant that parenting is an investment, you have invested time, you have invested energies and you have invested finances. No investment is good unless it brings desirable returns. As such, "freeing up" your child at the age of 18 does not make one any better a parent than the other who may be seen to be more 'cagey'. Rather, it signals that you are less interested in the investment that you would have made to see them to that age. Moreover, as a society, more effort is needed at the legislature where parents can be held accountable. Too many Permissive and Uninvolved parents, overvaluing the child's freedom and autonomy which often leads to disastrous endings. We must desist from glorifying the effects of alcohol, desist from glorifying "party mode", and desist from projecting the image of partying as the only appropriate celebratory activity.
To all parents, let this be a lesson learnt. Parenting does not end at the age of 18. Support is usually needed in a child's life well beyond the adolescent years sometimes continuing into middle and later adulthood, moreover Parenting is a lifelong process.