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Keep a keen eye on teens this season



Schools have closed for the festive season. It is a holiday characterised by merry-making, more so during Christmas and new year festivities.

Left to their own devices, our teens may be overwhelmed by the imp of the perverse to engage in behaviour that would be detrimental to their future. Parents must, therefore, be alert to all the nefarious factors that pose a danger to their teens’ well-being.

Recently, a boy was arrested for straying into a girls’ school. The boy, fully dressed in a girl’s uniform, was executing what seemed to be a well-orchestrated plan to engage in an illicit escapade. Still etched in our memories is the infamous story of a boy who was lynched for trespassing into a girls’ school in Kiambu County.

The grim truth is that our teens are risking it all and teetering dangerously on the edge of a precipice. Parents must be extra vigilant.

Negative peer pressure

First, they must carefully vet the company they keep. This will save the teens from negative peer pressure and mob psychology which, more often than not, lures them to engage in oddities such as drug abuse and alcoholism. Drug abuse has unfortunately found its way into our schools and youthful spaces and must be arrested before we lose a generation.

Secondly, parents must guide their teens against negative social media influence. Used well, social media is a great tool.

However, if misused it can be a poisoned chalice. It can expose teens to pornographic content, cyberbullying and comparison syndrome, which takes a toll on their self-esteem, sometimes escalating to suicide ideation.

Authorities must be on the lookout to thwart any attempt to subject girls to female genital mutilation, especially in communities that still cling to such retrogressive practices.

The way we raise our teens determines the future of our country. We must jealously guard and mentor our youths to dodge disaster.

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