One Saturday morning my phone rang, I ignored it, it rang again and again; I can hear the voice mail being placed too, then few BBMs and another phone call. Finally at 9 I gave up on sleeping and thought that I must see who that person was? I was surprised to find the call from some kids that I knew, horrified when I heard the voice mail, and the BBMs. So I called them back to find out what had happened. One of the kids was crying her guts out and saying that she will be killed and that her family is going to threw her out of the house, the other kid is hiding somewhere that no one knows where. My heart was racing to find out what happened. I arranged to meet one of them; apparently they went to a place that they were not supposed to be in, and they were spotted by an elder member of the family who was there at the time. This is normal till here, what was not normal to me is the horror voice that the girl was having, and the fear of her family’s reaction. I have not experienced such thing in my life. Maybe I haven’t done anything that warrants such reaction, but even though I do not think that us the adults should subject our kids or pressure them into accepting what we think as norms in life, or acceptable standards.
I think that we are living in a drastically changing times; the kids are exposed to all sorts of temptations from food, to clothing to certain places that we consider taboo like discos and night clubs. They see them in shows, in movies, hear about them on the radio and read about them in easily accessible novels and magazines. We cannot stop the kids from reading novels for example, some of the stuff written in novels are so vivid that one can see what is written like a movie, and on TV everything is shown. For example the movie burlesque for Sher, was such a place that seduces youngsters and adults alike to be in it even for one minute. The clothing, the experiences and the feelings may change their lives for ever. Why do we stop kids from these extremes? I know why of course, because we are scared that something will happen to them. Have you seen the movie Taken? that is a scary one, and after watching it I never let my girls go anywhere on their own. There are gross people around, and these people have money as the main motive in life, they would do anything to get the money, even if it means a girl or two would die in the process. Can we protect our youngsters from the evil of these people? if you know the answer tell me as I don’t think it is possible to do that.
In the same tone I can talk about the other extreme, the exposure of our kids to social media and the Arab spring (or as I call it the Arab winter) makes them feel that they want to be part of it. Can you possibly stop kids from being patriotic and stop them from loving their country? to me I want to stop them just because some may manipulate their minds to make them do suicidal acts. It is possible, see what happened around the world with the terror attacks on people and buildings.
So the fun extreme and the political extreme is what us the parents are worried about and that is why we stop our kids from going places or knowing people who are not “good to know” but how do we explain this to our kids? well, not very well I am afraid; the reason being is us the parents were brought up on the YES and NO dialogue. Our kids, on the other hand, are brought up on the “let us talk about it and find out the good and the evil”. So putting two different mentalities in the same pot generates the scenario that I talked about in the beginning of this blog: two scared girls worried that their family will kill them?
I think there should be a hotline for kids, all western countries have it, but none of the Arab countries has it. We imported every thing from abroad, but we left out the essentials. It is time that we wake up to the fact and start to have the correct dialogue with our kids. the YES and NO mentality must stop.