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Today's youth need good role models

Stock photo.
Stock photo.
Image: 123RF

A lot has been said about our children's eractiness and waywardness. I then ask myself from a parental perspective what causes this unbecoming type of behaviour?

My answer is simple: we are no longer good role models to our children if we still have their interests at hearts. Gone are the good old days when parents were parents and kids were kids; today's kids act as parents and parents act like kids. It's one size fits all nowadays, respect does not exist anymore.

I couldn't wait for school to close to be with my grandparents in rural areas. We would sit around a big fire munching on roasted mealies and peanuts while listening to khulu and gogo's fairytales with other kids from the neighbourhood.

We would be taught life lessons from their experience and words of wisdom. We were never sent to buy cigarettes or beer as those were no-go areas. Authorities have it on paper that alcohol must not be sold to minors but that's exactly what parents do, sending kids to drinking binges and shebeens for purchases.

Fast forward came ama2000 generation, inspired by technology that's taking centre stage. There is no family time for bonding as every communication is done digitally via cellphone gadgets. It's not surprising to find our kids running berserk all over the place like headless chickens.

Recreational parks, which are meant for children to play in and keep themselves busy, have been turned into dating and gambling spots. You will find adults kissing and cuddling. So where must children go and play?

Let me remind all adults that when you are older than someone you automatically wear a role model tag as we serve as examples and living testimonies to the youngsters who look up to us for inspiration and motivation.

Being careful of what we say and do in front of kids is not only a choice but a duty mandated obligation. Let's be good role models.

McDivett Khumbulani Tshehla, KwaMhlanga, Mpumalanga

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