The phrase My Mum Was Born an Adult opens us up to the problems faced by the average African teenager. On a scale of 100%, you will find out that 70% of homes in the African societies are in conflicts reason being that there is an unending rift between the teenage child and the mum.
Now this brings me to ask what the reason for this continuous rift is?
I got to understand that although the teenage stage in the life of every child comes with divers changes alongside the quest to dare a lot of things, the teenager would love to explore a whole new set of things and ideas and this is where the problem sets in because they tend to be challenging and not wanting to do the “yes mummy” thing all the time.
To them they are just trying to say “Mum I know you want the best for me but please a little freedom won’t cause any harm and I know I would likely make mistakes in my quest to know more about life, but that’s why I have you to stop me from making mistakes I would later regret, to guide me, understand me, encourage me, and watch me while I explore.”
The mum in return would understand this the wrong way, and in a bid to be the parent she wants to be she pushes the child away.
Because no child would want to be friends with or confined in an adult who acts as if she was thrown out of heaven , like she never experienced the struggles of our time (a born adult).
The mum is supposed to be her child’s best friend because it gives her the access to know what’s up with her child. I remember growing up, my mum was the first friend I had but becoming a teenager, she turned out to be the last friend in my life. In a way of not wanting the child to get spoilt or corrupt like they say, they hide a lot of things from us and when they don’t tell us all these things, we get to hear them from someone else and even learn certain things the wrong way.
That is why I love the Americans.
Parents over there are easy going they try to find out about their kids( i.e) they make themselves not just parents but friends and although it’s difficult opening up, you find the teenagers coming plain before their parents and the mum gets to know the type of friends her child is keeping, the child’s hangout, their likes and dislikes and even if they are in a relationship.
Then you will hear words like “It’s okay to have a crush, fall in love or to be in a relationship but you have to be careful because you are still a young girl and you have a wonderful life ahead of you”.
But over here in Africa our parents feel they gave birth to angels so no need, they know and would do no wrong. And even if you open up to them they make you feel like you uttered an abomination and later use it against you.
The reason teenagers love counselors is because our secrets are safe with them, they understand and also don’t judge us.
In Africa we have a lot of morals surrounding our upbringing but it is a sad thing our parents don’t even have faith in their own upbringing. If every mum can just at least trust her teenager but be keen about them and be their best friends, also encouraging them with words like “I understand what you are talking about I have been there and I can help you”. Then I don’t think we would have problems.
I know so many teenagers abused this closure and have misused their freedom but I guess it’s because they were left completely free all we ask is a little freedom and a little trust accompanied with your counsel and guidance and trust me, there won’t be a place for all this unnecessary arguments that result into lack of trust for the parent on the side of the teenager and costly mistakes that cannot be remedied because all the teenager or child strives for is to make his or her parents proud and not to cause problems or to be a disgrace.
Annabel Kari is a content developer for eveafrique.com and is passionate about writing based on real life experiences.