By Dickson Tumuramye
In the past, a child was for the whole community not for a single family. It was a responsibility of every community member to raise a child. But due to many strange but true circumstances happening in our society almost on a daily basis, this has drastically changed. For example, you risk your daughter sleeping over at her uncle’s home these days. The responsibility of child protection is on a single family not anymore everyone’s responsibility.
As if that is not enough, homosexuality, lesbianism child defilement, which were rarely heard of in our society have become order of the day. You also can’t miss a week’s story about kidnaps and murders. With all the government’s effort compelling us to register our SIM cards after the death of AIGP Kaweesi as if it was a sure deal to combat murders, still these days, the rate of murders and threats from killers has increased.
The men with machetes and pangas have kept dispensing letters alerting people of their coming in few days to terrorize them, keeping people in total fear. Surprisingly, they still come and fulfill their mission. What began in Masaka and Bukomansimbi districts has now even advanced to Mukono district. All these are done by men and women who have been raised in our homes. What has gone wrong?
Amidst all this, our children must be deliberately guarded against such inhumane practices which are eroding away oneness and togetherness in our cultures. However much children are getting exposed to media, and such wickedness in our society, we must stick to our good cultural values. People used to eat together, live as extended families and work as a group. This is no longer the case.
Our children should know that everyone is a potential threat to their lives including their own relatives and friends. They need to be very careful with the way they deal with other people especially strangers who keep close to them. We must teach them good practices which can help them to develop protective skills.
The rate at which our children have been lured into alcoholism, drug abuse and other harmful substances is alarming. It does not matter whether a child is from a rich or poor family, all are affected. There is a lot of moral decay somehow influenced by Western cultures.
When I was growing up, we were told things which men should never do. But today you may fail to differentiate between a man and a woman. After all they put on trousers and have long braided hair.
Teach your children manners that old generation had. Let them learn how to greet elders with respect. In our culture, we were told never to greet elders with caps on our heads. ….. these days you go to visit in a home, children keep watching TV and care less to greet you. When they have tried, they will say “Hi”. Greeting visitors in our homes, not talking when eating, sitting properly in public among others. All these are slowly but steadily fading away. The dot com era has spoiled our children.
The married men can’t feel comfortable to introduce themselves without adding a statement “I am married to one woman and she is a female.” Such clarity adds value to put yourself right with your marital status. Otherwise one may think you are a married but to a fellow man.
What are you doing as a parent to safe guard your children from cultural erosion?
The writer is a child advocate