Child Discipline vs. Child Humiliation: When a Joke is Taken Too Far?!

Dear Duty Bearer:
Sure you all had a great weekend with the family.
It is my plan to be with you here weekly, on Mondays but alas, I have been a prodigal writer. I have been absent without leave.
Today, I have come bearing the words and fruits if repentance; hoping, I will find favour in your beautiful sight. The fruits of repentance are superior to the words of repentance, hence I have added fruits to my words. Thought the fruits is in the seed form of a word, it is my committed intention that same will manifest and become flesh as time unfolds. So, what is my fruit of repentance? It is simply this, that i will not leave you this long again and I will come to you weekly, particularly on Mondays as long as I have breath.
I also appeal to you that I will continue and conclude the article, which I started since September…It is titled, Excuse Me Please, I want to Raise Spoilt Children!
But as I come back to you after a long time, let me comment on a video of a father, who put his children on trial on social media a while ago. I think the video generated a lot of attention and controversy for two major reasons: the first is that it was posted by a public figure and the second is that the the video seems to be making light of the impact of such exercise of the precious children now and in future.
The subject matter bears similarities with the topic I began in September and referred to above, hence I am resuming from there today.
All I want to do here is to ask some fundamental questions for your consideration. Let us set the questioning ball rolling…
I think the fundamental question here is , what exactly constitute child discipline?
Is there a difference between public trial and discipline?
Is it part of discipline to bring your children to the public square for a private matter (family matter)?
Would the arguments even have been different if the children have done the so-called misbehaviour in public?
How would we feel as adults if our private errors in the family are brought to the public square, since the children are not the only people who make mistakes in the home?
Would the person who posted the video want his spouse to discuss his private mistakes online or in public or even with a third party, most importantly without his consent?
If these children, could give consent do we think they will agree to their ‘trial’ video posted online? And even if they would have given their consent, would that have made it right for then?
If the mistakes of adults, which are often more grievous than that of children, because by their age they are supposed to be aware of their actions are brought, what would be the goal?
Is humiliation part of child discipline, considering the fact that the concept of shame for children is a very delicate one since their ego and sence worth is very fragile and is therefore easily opened to be being built into a healthy entity or bruised liability?
Where do we draw the line between discipline and undue exposure of children?
When does spoiling something at home become a major issue except the child did it deliberately and we are trying to break their will and mode it in the right direction, which we have established by example?
Even if this is a reality show, would this have been right?
What is the link between siblings fighting and breaking TV and if we say they broke it while fighting, where were their caregivers when they fought to the point of breaking TV?
Can the worth of the TV ever measure up to this public exposure and the impact of same on these precious young ones, whose minds are absorbent?
How would these precious children feel when they grow up and see this video?
If some of the foregoing questions could not be answered in the affirmative and we will frown if an adult is treated like this does not show that children are not seen or treated equally like adults and do we not wonder why?
When would our precious children be allowed to be children please?
If this was to score the humour point and the doer did it in a lighter mood, does the psyche of the precious children receive it in a lighter mood and when is it right to use our precious children as objects of humour?
If the doer of this deed were in a developed clime do you think he would not have considered the consequences so well before posting this video?
If these video has been posted in a developed clime do we think the doer will not have been answering some questions now both from Government and NGOs?
As Child-Focused Practitioners, do we not think we need to deepen our knowledge on how to Secure A Friendly and PROTECTIVE Environment for our precious children?
My questions are countless and I think I have asked enough for now…
This is Africa and in Africa anything goes, particularly when it is done by popular people…Africa is the most hit by what I call Social Populism…Once it is popular, it is right!
Africa is not NECESSARILY anti children but we are not DELIBERATELY  pro children…
That is the point I have been making in my most recent piece on my blog www.taiwoakinlamiblog.com, titled, ‘Excuse Please, I want to Raise Spoilt Children.’
The inequality and inequity with which we relate with our precious children under many guises, the chief of which is child discipline is enormously disheartening…
Until we revisit our belief system about our precious children, Africa is going no where, I tell you the truth.
Until we face the brutal fact to name our troubled or truncated childhood for what it is and deliberately seek recovery, we will continue to parade our wounded souls and bruised identities as legacies and social memorabilia worthy of bequeathing to our precious children.
Is the 21st Century, where the world is advancing very fast in both good and evil and players are earning their place either for accolades or damnation and both are serious, we are here discussing this kind of thing, that the doer may have been questioned in a developed clime? I feel very ashamed and I weep for my continent…
Just as I was about to type, may God help us…I am quickly reminded that God has helped His humanity for He is not an irresponsible God, who needs to be beg and followed up on His promise, which He voluntarily gave…It is now our responsibility to come out of the prayer room into the war room or thinking room and do battle of the mind even as we continue to pray.
I am The Preacher of the Gospel According to Securing A Friendly and PROTECTIVE Environment for the Precious African Children. I do welcome your comments and observations.
Do have an INSPIRED day.
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Excuse Me Please, I want to Raise Spoilt Children (2)

Welcome to my page today and I am glad you are back with us in our journey to bring this unusual conversations to an end or close to an end.

Look at all I said about authority in the first part of this piece. They may be new to us but I bet that was not the first time we will read about the concept of authority. In fact we saw authority exercised when we were growing up and we are even an authority today either as a primary or secondary caregiver. You see, we are not ignorant about authority. But, if we are not able to analyse authority the way we did in our last piece we may just have been misinformed.

As I explained in my last piece, Ignorance comes with a form of humility but misinformation comes with a huge deposit of arrogance. Why? The premise of misinformation is an assumption that one knows what to do and therefore does not need any direction in the identified areas of engagement.

The challenge today is not that we are ignorant about our precious children and how to disciple them. The real challenge is that we are dealing with Misinformed Social Norm about who children are and how to relate with them. This Misinformed Social Norm is both deliberately or mistakenly perpetrated, depending on who is the author is.

Permit me to submit that our culture in Africa is not NECESSARILY anti-children, but it is not DELIBERATELY pro-children. Our disposition towards children gives more room to chance than being deliberate and submitting to a credible and verifiable plan of action, aimed at regulating our relationship with our precious children. There are hardly any established code of conducts in relating with our precious children and we do not consider developing same as a project to prioritise to be worthy of our resources of time, energy (mental and physical) and money. As far as we are concerned, as long as we have our say and our way, the children are fine. They are beings to be led by the nose, no more no less.

Unfortunately, this way of thinking about our precious children and the world around them has become very obsolete and useless. The question we must ask today is that where are the dividends of the culture, which puts her precious children down? I will shed light on this when I get into the very meat of this discussion?

The depth of the challenge we are dealing with in respect of our perception about children is further corroborated by Professor Sameer Hinduja of Florida Atlantic University, who I met in 2017, at the Europe, Middle East and Africa Child Safety Summit, organised by Google and Facebook, who said about our project, aimed at Securing A Friendly and Protective Environment for our precious children, which was one of the project showcased at the summit,   ‘I applaud what you are doing and I agree with your perspective on African children…It is probably going to be hard to change such ensconced mentalities – just like in my home country of India, it’s very hard to change belief patterns because they are embedded in culture and also in religion.’ He concluded his observation with an encouragement, ‘BUT – someone has to try.  Someone will make progress.  It is time… So our efforts are never wasted – not even a bit.’

As I see it, I think the real challenge before us today is to deconstruct what we have hitherto believed about our precious children. This deconstruction must begin with how we see our precious children. Permit me to submit unequivocally, we treat children the way we see them and we see them the way we were seen growing up.

First in Africa, we hardly see children as reasoning being, with whom we can reason and communicate and teach how to reason and communicate by how we reason and communicate with them. We are yet to come to terms with the fact that a reasoning being learns and imbibe everything by reasoning and nothing by force.

When a reasoning being is approached with force, fear takes over and once fear takes over, the reasoning being withdraws any reasonable participation and becomes a passive participant. He/she withdraws but appear to carry out the instruction communicated by force. He/she becomes subdued while, the one applying force interpret that as submission.

Unknown to the one applying force, the child is only waiting for the day of emancipation. The child earnestly looks forward to the day when the balance of forces become mutual and the threats, which make the force being applied real are now fully or partially neutralised. For example, the child is now grown and can largely be in control of what the primary and secondary caregivers can know about him/her except he/she divulges same to them.  It is important to note that the human spirit is not created to bow to any form of oppression. The truth is that once the human spirit senses oppression of any form, its number one mission becomes looking and working towards the day of emancipation. The foregoing is not different when it comes to our precious children.

It is this belief system that dictates the way we raise and claim to discipline our precious children today and we seems to draw our comfort from the fact that our counterparts in the developed world are paying dearly for how they raise/discipline their precious children.

From next week, I will examine our claim carefully and try to establish the efficacy or otherwise of same. I hope, I will be able to bring this treatise to an end next week and let you see the real definition of spoilt children.

Thank you for reading and do have an INSPIRED week.

I am Taiwo ‘ODINAKACHUKWU’ AKINLAMI, The Preacher and I Speak for the Precious African Child.

T: 2348033620843, 2348056979605│W: http://www.taiwoakinlami.com│B: www.taiwoakinlamiblog.com IG: @taiwoakinlami T: @taiwoakinlami

Excuse Me Please, I want to Raise Spoilt Children (1)

There is a humility that comes with ignorance. You may want to ask, what is ignorance? Well, the English dictionary defines ignorance as, ‘lack of knowledge or information.’ It is my well-considered opinion that those, who are truly aware of their ignorance about a subject matter, approach it with a high dose of humility.  Imagine how we obey every instruction when we travel by air. The passengers are educated on how to fly an aeroplane so we follow every instruction with humility and we are never ashamed of our ignorance.

Ignorance is an instigator of a hunger seeking information. However, the challenge is that those who pass information also pass error or misinformation. It is therefore the responsibility of those who receive information to filter and process it before accepting it. So how does one process information? It is by engaging the force of curiosity to keep asking question and pass our findings through the acid test of the universal principles, which God created to govern the affairs of this world.

For example, God does not give any human being dominion over another human being, including the children under him/her as primary and secondary caregivers. Therefore any information, which encourages a person to dominate another is against the creation intention of God. It is from this idea of domination that dehumanization proceeds. This dehumanization include physical, emotional and sexual. What God gives us over a fellow human being, particularly as primary and secondary caregivers is authority. What is authority? According to Wikipedia, ‘authority derives from the Latin word auctoritas’ and according to the English Dictionary, ‘it is the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience.’

Now, it is important to share with you seventeen fundamental principles I have learnt about authority:

The first is that authority, particularly when it comes to the relationship between our precious children and the primary and secondary handlers is a very transient commodity. It only exists in its best quantity for 18 years, noting that a child is anybody below 18 years old.

Second, authority only makes an enduring difference when it is employed to communicate POSITIVE VALUE SYSTEM first by example and second by instructions.

Third, it is the responsibility of authority to communicate to the people under them, particularly children, the identity of the authority, where they derive their authority from, their roles in the lives of the people under them, the code of engagement guiding how the authority should be seen, how the identified roles will be played, how long the engagement will last and the expected outcomes. In this regard, authority must by very enthusiastic, open and unashamed in communicating his/her vulnerability and encourage the constant and consistent contributions in terms of observations and suggestions of the people under them to which they must be very open.

Fourth, flowing from the immediate principle, authority understands that ignorance of the law is not an excuse, but a law that does not exist cannot draw any form of sanction against anyone under it.

Fifth, authority is for the purpose of establishing order in a sphere of influence and it has nothing to do with superiority. Therefore a primary or secondary caregivers is not superior to the precious children under his/her care and must deliberately give rooms for him/her to be reasoned with.

Sixth, authority must always learn to tamper justice with mercy, in ensuring that the focus it to address what is wrong and not who is wrong, particularly when it comes to relating with our precious children. Therefore in this regard, authority must be firm but not high-handed, must be assertive and yet gentle, tender and kind, must be consistent, yet over some wrongs. Children may hate correction, but they do not have the person in authority, who is able to embrace empathy as a tool of engagement.  Perfect love casts out fear and love conquers all, says the Holy Writ.

Seventh, authority must understand the principle of measure, relating to the wrong he/she wishes to correct and the status of the person in question to be corrected in terms of age and track record of behaviour, good or bad.

Eighth, authority must not have any pre-conceived notion in dealing with a child. Authority, therefore must always move from the place of assumption of innocence of the party or parties before it.

Ninth, authority cannot be bias in its engagement with people within his/her areas of influence. To be bias is to destroy the very fabric of the credibility of the authority itself. Therefore, authority does not have favourites and his/her favour is always in accordance with the code of engagement known to all parties.

Tenth, authority does not act in anger or omit to act as a result of pleasure. He/she brings her emotion under subjection and when he/she betrays same, he/she is open to correction.

Eleventh, authority does not sit in judgement over the precious children under him/her. The goal of authority is not to judge but to correct, give room for improvement and facilitate same. Therefore an authority in the life of a precious child hardly gives up on a precious child.

Twelfth, authority, when relating with our precious children, must first take responsibility for their behaviour, being the one that sets the tone for same. While authority must and love to take credit for excellent outcomes in the behaviour of the precious children under his/her, he/she must be ready to take responsibilities for the poor behaviour of the precious children under him/her. Therefore, authority must not distance himself/herself from the failures of our precious children. The approach, come rain, come shine must be ‘we are in it together.’

Thirteenth, authority must learn how to exercise authority positively. An untrained authority will make a shipwreck of the lives of those under it. Therefore, there must be a commitment of the authority to learning and unlearning of knowledge, skill and most importantly attitude (value system) relating to how to effectively and positively exercise authority.

Fourteenth, authority must employ the principle for mutual respect. The person over who we have authority deserves to be respected and treated with respect as the person in authority. In fact the person, whom you have authority over will never respect you above the respect you show to him/her.

Fifteenth, communication is key to exercising authority as it is the characteristic of human beings to reason and communicate. Therefore the person in authority must recognise the status of the person he/she has authority over as a reasoning, who must be reasoned and communicated with in the best language he/she can understand and has been trained to understand. Force does not achieve any result with a human being. Force only subdues and does not extract submission at any level.

Sixteenth, authority only succeeds when the precious children, who are passing through him/her become practitioners of the principles taught by the authority, even in his/her absence.

Seventeenth, authority the foundation to establishing the culture of child discipline in any human society.

Wow, The Preacher seems to have derailed into another discussion entirely, you may think. This is an exercise in digression, you have opined. You may even have asked, am I reading the right article? You are even beginning to think, what is the connection between the topic of discussion and this very long preambles?

I understand perfectly, this is part of the introduction to the dicey topic I have chosen. Next week, I will build on this copious foundation and hopefully, I will bring you to the promised conclusion.

Thank you for reading and do have an INSPIRED week.

I am Taiwo ‘ODINAKACHUKWU’ AKINLAMI, The Preacher and I Speak for the Precious African Child.

T: 2348033620843, 2348056979605│W: http://www.taiwoakinlami.com│B: www.taiwoakinlamiblog.com IG: @taiwoakinlami T: @taiwoakinlami

 

Marking United Nations International Youth Day: The War on the Lives and Minds of Our Precious Young People: Old Tricks, New Platforms: The Real Threat to ‘Safe Spaces for Youth.’ (3)

Today, I bring closure to this three day old conversation. I believe today, we will be challenged on the ways to rescue our precious children and youths from the attack on their lives and minds, which renders them susceptible to many social vices and render them impotent in making meaningful contribution for personal and public advancement.

It is important to note that it is pathetic that though, the primary and secondary caregivers are alive today, we seem very docile and unconcerned about the state of our precious children and youths. Our seemingly incurable nonchalance and frustration is best captured in the words of the Irish poet, W.B. Yeats, The Second Coming, where lamented the confusion and frustration that greeted post-first-world-war Europe: ‘Turning and turning in the widening gyre/The falcon cannot hear the falconer;/Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;/Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,/The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere/The ceremony of innocence is drowned;/The best lack all conviction, while the worst/Are full of passionate intensity.’

For days like United Nations International Youth Day to make sense first to our precious children and youths and to the generality of the African people, I today proudly offer the creed of #TheSAFE4MEMovement as vividly covered in our Securing A Friendly and PROTECTIVE Environment™ for Children Instructional Manual released on the last World Children’s Day, November 20, 2018. The creed is centred on helping our precious young people and their caregivers and custodians to develop moral stamina through the inculcation of what we call the POSITVE VALUE SYSTEM. We see this POSITIVE VALUE SYSTEM as an effective propeller of meaningful and rewarding social engagements and tested antidote to surrendering themselves to abuse or engaging in destructive vices, which are today rampant among young people. What is this POSITVE VALUE SYSTEM? It is simply appealing to our basic sense of what is right or wrong, first according to common sense and second according to obvious moral code of human existence and interactions, with a commitment to always carefully consider all of the consequences of our actions and omission to self, immediate family, community and the world at large before embarking or omitting to embark on same.

The perpetration of the foregoing creed demands superior strategy, noting that the moral force of such superior strategy is the positive example of the caregivers and custodians of today’s precious children and young people.

Men and women of good conscience, who represent the best interest of the precious children and young people of Africa must note as a subject of sober reflection that a good cause with poor strategy will always fall flat before a bad cause with superior strategy. It is

I have often heard people say, ‘good things take time.’ The impression such assertion often creates is that it is only good things that take time. It is important to note that bad things also take time to take root. If good people do not understand the foregoing principle, it is important to note that bad people do and therefore takes time to build their castle of evil, in which they host our precious children and young people in their billions.

Permit me to submit most humbly that any agenda, aimed at securing Safe Spaces for Youth, which does not take the foregoing principles into adequate consideration may end in nothing but frustration.

I am glad we have been able to bring closure to this discussion and I hope it has helped us as caregivers and custodians to again be reminded about the real issues plaguing our precious children and youth today and how to help them turn the tide for the personal benefits and that of humanity.

Thank you for reading to and do have an INSPIRED day.

I am Taiwo ‘ODINAKACHUKWU’ AKINLAMI (The Preacher) and I Speak for the Precious African Child

T: 2348033620843, 08056979605 W: http://www.taiwoakinlami.com B:http://www.taiwoakinlamiblog.com T: @taiwoakinlami

Marking United Nations International Youth Day: The War on the Lives and Minds of Our Precious Young People: Old Tricks, New Platforms: The Real Threat to ‘Safe Spaces for Youth.’ (2)

I will like to continue our discussion where we stopped yesterday by sharing with that it seems to me that there are always four kinds of people in the lives of our precious children and youths. The first are those  who are part of the solutions to the precious children and youths. These ones are always few in number and they labour in making useful contributions to the sanity of our precious children and youths through peaceful and value-based development. The second are those who are part of their problems, who by their omission or commission fail in their duty of care to prepare these precious children and youths for the challenges of childhood and successful transitions to responsible adulthood. The third are those who are part of the problem of these precious children and youths by making deliberate efforts to pervert the conscience and render them morally bankrupt for their personal, social, political and financial gains. The fourth is those who have embraced silence, passivity, double-standard in the face of a drowning moral crisis, fast consuming the very soul of our precious children and youths.

The last three succeed in bequeathing to the society directionless and menacing children and youths, which make life unbearable for their immediate and extended neighbours.

It is sad to note that the second categories of people in the lives of our precious children and young people by their active, cowardly and often ignorant omission and third and fourth categories of people by their skillful and deliberate commission have over the years had more successes in their endeavours than the first category of people in the lives of our precious children and youths.

The people in the second and fourth category often do not understand the power resident in our precious children and youths and how to fan same into glorious flame of useful existence and enduring contributions, the people in the third category know the power and potentials of children and youths when they are properly developed. They know that in the words of Adebayo Williams that ‘a properly educated mind will not accept an act of tyranny. Because to accept an act of tyranny is an act of intellectual self-dispossession.’ Therefore since this category of people do not often represent the interest of the majority of the people, particularly when they wield political power, they make it a point of duty to deliberately keep the teeming majority of our precious children and youth uninformed and impoverished. It is not in the best interest of any kingdom to empower her enemies, who when they become empowered they will displace her, except  the kingdom is naive or not strategic.

I make bold to say that the people, who occupy the third category in Africa may be naive or less strategic in all things, they are not when it comes to suppressing the precious children and youths of Africa. It is important to note that it is not by accident that there is a silent war on education in Africa, particularly in Nigeria. It is not by accident that Nigeria has 10.5 children out of school and private education has become an alternative to public education. It is not by accident that the governments of most African countries today do not budget for social protection and where they have such budget, it is often misappropriated or diverted to personal use.

It is also the strategy of the people in the third category  in the lives of our precious children and young people to bring distractions in the way of the precious children and young people in the name of entertainment. Entertainment and related adventures have today become the opium of our precious children and young people, strategically served as musical concerts and shows on days like the United Nations International Youth Day. The goal of such engagements on important days to our precious children and young people like Children’s day and United Nations International Youth Day is to divert the attention of our precious but unwary children and youth from the real issues affecting their personal and social development, for which the days are created to call attention to and address.

Though, the first category of people mean very well for our precious young people, they hardly labour in the crucible of visionary, missionary and strategic thinking and superior engagements of the precious children and youths and the society in which they are being raised. Therefore, the other three categories of people have always had an upper hand. Something the first category of people always forget is that since it is always easier to destroy than to build, they always have more smart work to do than the other two people.

Today, we have more directionless and menacing young people than purposeful and sound ones. We have more wasted potentials than harnessed ones among our precious young people. More are more disoriented than cultured. More are subdued than submissive. More live in the fortified cocoon of denial, delusion and despondency than live freely in pursuit of God-ordained dreams, for which custodians have moral and legal duty to provide direction.

Our precious children and youths today are best referred to as an orphaned generation. In my definition, an orphan is also a child, whose parents are not available, dead or alive. The greatest and most invaluable need of our children and youths today is direction in life. The direction they seek will address how to help them cultivate a meaningful and productive relationship with God, which will culminate in helping them to imbibe and demonstrate POSITIVE VALUE SYSTEM. Direction will address how to help these precious children and youths to achieve resourcefulness, combining soft skills with hard skills to make a difference and build relevance in their private and public lives in a world that is becoming more and more competitive by the day as the world becomes digital and Artificial Intelligence revolution is sweeping across the globe.  Direction will address helping the precious young people understand how life and her principles work and how they can begin to relate with same and shepherd their lives in the direction of universal principles of how God created this world to function and reap the benefits both for their personal lives, families and the society at large.

Direction in the foregoing areas can only be provided by conscious primary and secondary caregivers. The question is, if these caregivers are truly alive, how come their existence is not making a definite and enduring difference in the lives of our precious children and young people today? What would have been the difference if there was an aggression on our continent and people from age thirty and above were killed and these precious children are left to grope their ways into meaningful and productive existence? Though, we as the custodians are alive, yet our precious children and youths are groping in the dark, endangered that they may not find their way to the promised land of being meaningful contributors to the 21st century and reaping from the boundless and bountiful opportunities thereof.

I think this sobering question should usher us out this discussion today. I think we should really take our time and ask if we are available to provide direction to our primary and secondary constituencies. Are our children feeling that they are orphans despite our presence?

Thank you for reading to and do have an INSPIRED day.

I am Taiwo ‘ODINAKACHUKWU’ AKINLAMI (The Preacher) and I Speak for the Precious African Child

T: 2348033620843, 08056979605 W: http://www.taiwoakinlami.com B:http://www.taiwoakinlamiblog.com T: @taiwoakinlami

 

 

Marking United Nations International Youth Day: The War on the Lives and Minds of Our Precious Young People: Old Tricks, New Platforms: The Real Threat to ‘Safe Spaces for Youth.’ (1)

‘The hopes of the world rest on young people. Peace, economic dynamism, social justice, tolerance- all this and more, today and tomorrow, depends on tapping the power of youth,’ – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

Today, August 12, 2018 is the United Nations International Youth Day and the theme for 2018 is Safe Spaces for Youth.’ United Nations summed up the justification for 2018 theme as follows: ‘there are currently 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24 in the world. This is the largest youth population ever. But 1 in 10 of the world’s children live in conflict zones and 24 million of them are out of school. Political instability, labour market challenges and limited space for political and civic participation have led to increasing isolation of youth in societies.’

According to the United Nations, the day’ serves as an annual celebration of the role of young women and men as essential partners in change and an opportunity to raise awareness of challenges and problems facing the world’s youth.’

My interest today is the role of youths as ‘essential partners in change’ as same agrees with our #TheSAFE4MEMovement, which we launched on the World Children’s Day, November 20, 2017. The focus of the movement is call attention to all forms of abuse that our children and youths are exposed to and their roles in their personal safety and self-protection, through the inculcation of the right value system. The movement is an outreach both young people and their caregivers (primary and secondary).

It is in the light of #TheSAFE4MEMovement, which we consider to be the heart cry of today’s young people in Africa that I make comments on the theme of the 2018 theme of the United Nations International Youth Day.

While I am conscious that by the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), a child is anyone below 18 years of age and by the general definition of the United Nations, a youth is anyone between the age bracket of 15-24, please note that for the purpose of this piece, by children and youths, I refer to the age brackets 0-21.

Permit me to declare upfront that the number threat to Safe Spaces for Youth is not the conflicts, lack of education, shelter, health services, and engagement in all forms of seemingly uncountable vices they are exposed to day. I think the real threat Safe Spaces for Youth is the war that is waged on the minds of our youth. Safe Spaces must first exist as a value system in the minds of our caregivers and custodians of the minds of our youth, who must deliberately inculcate same in the minds of our youth. The goal must be to help our precious children and youth to appreciate and take full ownership of the immense benefits of Safe Spaces for Youth. It is upon the foregoing foundation that they could be enlightened on their roles in creating same and how to take full responsibility for same.

I think the war on the mind of our precious children and youths has existed time immemorial. Adolf Hiller declared, as we planned the pogrom, which is today known as the Second World War, which claimed 62 million people (2.5 % of the population of the world then), ‘I want to raise a generation of young people, imperious, relentless and cruel.’

It is important to note that no cause, positive or negative has a future without the deliberate and active initiation of children into same. Hitler recognised this truth and set in motion a mission to achieve same.

It is important to note that the vision like Hitler’s has always been constant. It is the mode of expression that has changed.  The attack on the impressionable and ‘absorbent’ minds of our precious children and young people today have only been enhanced by the undue democratization of information through the new media, in which social media is one of the most prominent features.

Permit me to round off this discussion today, as I do not intend to take you on this ride for too long lest you succumb to the temptation of losing interest.

I will continue this discussion tomorrow, believing that I will meet you refreshed and good to go in working with like minds to secure Safe Spaces for Youth.

Do have an INSPIRED week.

I am Taiwo ‘ODINAKACHUKWU’ AKINLAMI (The Preacher) and I Speak for the Precious African Child

T: 2348033620843, 08056979605 W: http://www.taiwoakinlami.com B:http://www.taiwoakinlamiblog.com T: @taiwoakinlami

SEX IS BIG: 16 DAYS OF SEX TALK(Day 15): PORNOGRAPHY ADDICTION: WINNING THE BATTLE (1)

Culled from our Instructional Manuals: S.A.F.E™ for YOU

TIP 121

“Bundy was correct in saying that most serial murderers are addicted to hardcore pornography. FBI records validate that point. Not every person exposed to obscenity will become a killer, of course, but too many will!” 

James C. DOBSON

I am glad to be with you today my dear and precious young ones, discussing this important topic and the guidelines on how to protect yourself from same.

It is difficult for our young people not be addicted to pornography today. Our world is over sexualized.  Pornography has taken a disturbing form.

I think there are two categories of pornography that you are exposed to as a young person. The first is the hardcore pornography.  The dictionary defines this as ‘printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity, intended to stimulate sexual excitement.’ The other is softcore pornography. According to Wikipedia, softcore pornography or softcore porn is commercial still photography or film that has a pornographic or erotic component. It is less sexually graphic and intrusive than hardcore pornography.’

Today, almost every young person is exposed to one form of pornography or the other. In my work, I have met many young people, who have come to me to share their struggle with hardcore pornography. No thanks the pop culture, you are exposed to as a young person, you will agree with me that many more of you are addicted to softcore pornography.

What is pop culture? It is defined as ‘modern popular culture transmitted via the mass media and aimed particularly at younger people,’ which include fashion, music, movies and related materials. Most of your pop culture role models promote softcore pornography in their music and movies. The other day, one of them was said to have posted a video his masturbation on the social media. In 2016 leading newspapers reported that the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission banned a leading musician’s song, ‘Don’t Stop’ from being played on the airwaves for ‘obscenity, being indecent, vulgar languages, lewd and profane expressions like ‘wa gba ponron’, ‘I just want to hit you now’, ‘je kin wo be…” Earlier in 2015, about eighteen popular and hit songs were banned for same reasons.

Almost all your Pop Culture role models in the entertainment industry promote and celebrate immorality and its products, which is today known as ‘Baby Mama.’ According to the dictionary, ‘Baby Mama’ is ‘the mother of one or more of a man’s children, especially one who is not his wife or current partner.’ What they are saying by their lifestyle is simple: follow my example.

They seem to have identified sex as a way of reaching you and arousing your interest in their music and movie. I think to ensure that they are profitable they have decided to serve you music and movies that focus on your vulnerability as a young person.

From my discussion with many young people, the experiment for exposure to hardcore pornography begins with exposure to softcore pornography. Unfortunately softcore pornography is all around you and on your face and it takes a lot of effort for you to look away and avoid being sucked in.

The danger today is that the uncontrolled presence of softcore pornography is the strength of the hardcore pornography. It has also been found that the first exposure of young people to pornography is accidental. The free presence of softcore pornography further makes the possibility of accidental exposure very high among young people. According to an article published on www.teendrugrehabs.com, titled, ‘The Growing Problem of Teen and Porn Addiction, it is found that ‘exposure to porn is high among teens; in one study, 93% of boys and 62% of girls said they were exposed to online porn as teenagers. Boys were more likely to seek out sexually graphic images and view more extreme images, like child pornography.’

I think I should sign out here. I will be with you tomorrow. Do have an INSPIRED day.

The THINK Factor

Do you see the link between hardcore and softcore pornography? Do you think this discussion affect you in any way? If yes, how? Take time to really reflect and share your thoughts in your S.A.F.E™ 4 YOU Personal Journal and share with your parents and other trusted caregivers and friends.