Good manners make for good upbringing

2016-12-08 06:01
opinion belinda dilima

opinion belinda dilima

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It is usually said that we cannot compare the state of the past with the present– “times are achanging.”

Change is good–depending on which side of fence you’re on.

The Cape Town Festive Lights switch on is an old ritual in the Cape.

We also used to take joy and excitement going to these as as youngsters in the presence of our parents, I must add.

If your parents wouldn’t make it for that year, it meant “No Lights” for you in that year.

Fair enough! We used to be prepared and attend in our PJ’s and the only treat we would get in town was ice-cream; as we’d already had had supper at home.

Fast forward to 2016! The images that I saw on this past weekend’s Festive Lights’ official opening left me jaw-struck and gobsmacked!

Teenagers were allowed to attend these celebrations and made a drinking spree out of it.

In the morning following the switch on, the public was astonished to see young boys and girls loitering the streets drunk– probably having not slept at all.

In the city centre, some even crashed on the streets, while others had to be “accommodated” at the local police station for their own safety.

Do parents sleep peacefully sans the whereabouts of their young.

I have not mastered the art of parenting, but the rules of the house should be simple: No returning home later than 7pm.

Washing your hands after using the bathroom is standard practice. Do not swear is equally the standard norm. You want it, earn it! When you burp – excuse yourself. Respecting the elders in general is the order of the day. The list is endless!

It is also fair to point that once out in the world, we do not always reflect what we learned at home, as we tend to adopt bad mannerisms in the street. However, if we were actively involved in our children’s lives we would easily identify this through engagements and meeting their friends.

As I write this I am reminded of Ms Qonongo of Langa Comprehensive’s sentiments around the same topic we once had.

She said: “The majority of parents in our area are single and still looking for a Mr Right.

So the kids are not given that much attention, and they too, go out looking for their Ms/Mr right.” It’s common cause that our kids emulate what we do. It’s now December and parents of teens are just as scared.

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