Yesterday I was strolling with my daughter to pick her kid brother from an islamiya school, when she, once again, pleaded with me to allow her have a phone of her own. She is 12yrs old and a JSSIII student. “Baba you promised that when I finished my JSSIII exams you will allow me to have my phone” she reminded me. “Ummita, why are you in such a hurry to have your own phone? I know you use your mother’s phone whenever you want for your games and other things…” Was my response.
I explained to her that she’s too young to have a phone. I even told her that i got my first phone when I was already married with kids (kind of trying to convince her to drop the issue). Then the shocker that got me thinking…that exposes the selfish part of us all – The Parents!
This girl respectfully reminded me “but baba You allowed Khalifa(her immediate senior brother) to have his phone when he was in JSSII and I’m now in JSSIII”. And that was true… Her elder brother had a phone at a much younger age, so why won’t she?
That question got me thinking. So many thoughts flashed through my mind. Certainly, I couldn’t bring myself to tell her the real reason why I don’t want her to have a phone at this stage of her life – the fear of the negative influences of social media. I remember that on many occasions I had to caution her, together with her mother, to be careful about life and the need to be a decent and a good girl. But it just dawned on me that I have never caution Khalifa, her elder brother, in the same manner. Why????
And they say it takes two to tango. Here I am trying hard to protect my own daughter from the bad influence of some bad boys, but doing nothing to protect other innocent daughters from the bad influence my own son could be to them. Isn’t this being selfish?
How many of you parents, out there, caution our sons they way we caution our daughters? In fact, I now realise that the emphasis should be on the boys. The girls are always the victims. If our boys are well trained and well behaved, then our daughters will certainly be SAFE. We will have less to worry about and we will sleep with our eyes closed.
So I’m appealing to all parents to please look more in the other direction – the boys’ and keep our eyes wide open on them….
“Baba ba ka ce komai ba”. Ummita brought my mind back to our discussion. “Ok, let’s talk later at home” for what answer will I give her.? Later around 11:30pm she reminded me again..”Baba can we talk now?” “Ummita its late, please let’s talk in the morning”
She left for Islamiyya before I wake up..any moment she will be back and, certainly, she will ask again. Now I’m confused. What will I do? Should I give her the phone? If I don’t, how I will justify giving her elder brother at a much younger age? Will she not see it as an injustice between the two of them? Or should I collect back the phone her brother is using now? What really should I do?
Hon. Abdullahi I. Mahuta
Katsina, North West