No matter how hard we try, we cannot pretend not to have heard about the cucumber sex video that has been trending on the Nigerian internet scene for about a week now. The first thoughts that came to my mind were how the victim must be feeling, what she must be going through right now, the second thoughts were about the parents, what thoughts must be going through their minds, how they must be coping especially in a society like Nigeria where everybody seems to know everybody else and where there is no hiding place.
My third thoughts was and still is about our own children, especially the girl child, our God-given role as parents to them. Have you had the ‘talk’ yet? Do you constantly have the ‘talk’? Do you seize every opportunity to have the ‘talk’? The ‘talk’ can be about everything and it can be about nothing in particular, it can also sometimes be about one single topic. No parent is perfect, no parent is a ‘know-it-all’ and there is no single route to good parenting but there are some basic routes to good parenting. If you have not had the ‘talk’ yet, go on then, give it a go, the more you try it, the better and less awkward it becomes. You can start by addressing the safety of children on the internet that is assuming you have already talked about sex and also you have been doing your best to protect them from predators. These few steps might help;
- Do away with all forms of shyness where your children are concerned, call all spades spades, not farming equipment
- To avoid any damage,do not leave things too late before you start, whether you know it or not, they know more than you think they know, or even more than you know in most cases.
- Let your children know that under no circumstances must they send nude images/videos of themselves to any one, not even themselves or you, their parents. I let mine know that they should not even exchange any notes or emails and neither must they allow themselves to be filmed in the nude (this might sound ridiculous because you would expect them to know that already, right? but it’s better to be safe than sorry, so tell them all the same) because once its out of their hands, it’s no more theirs and so not under their control anymore.
- Lay out all the likely consequences that might follow if they should do that, give them real life examples, I gave mine (including my eleven year old)a summary of the cucumber sex video and we discussed it at length and I made sure they understood the gist of the matter.
- Be involved in the life of your children, do not leave things to chance
- Make it a duty to know the kind of company they keep, the kind of friends they have etc
- Befriend your children, too much harshness backfires.
- It’s okay to trust them but again, if somethings don’t feel right or you have reasons to doubt their stories or movement, it’s okay to investigate, you are not betraying them, you are safeguarding their future.
Now this is bad news but I can bet you that victim in the said video is not the only person to have gone through such. We must continue to press on, we must refuse to be tired or wary, we must not give up.
Here is wishing us a rewarding, fruitful and happy parenting especially at these end times.