Tag Archives: teenagers

Guiltless Parents, And Children Violence

There is an urgent need for parents to stop blaming the government, our nation’s education system, or even teachers, for not giving sufficient moral education to their children.

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Last weekend, I took my nephews to a public swimming pool. Two hours later, I saw them yelling to (and prepared to hit) another kid. The cause was simple, the other kid felt annoyed by the splashes of water that my nephews made when they jump from the pool side. It’s a swimming pool, and he was annoyed by splashes of water?! Come on..

But another thing caught my attention, and it was the anger that my nephews exhibited. To my observation, they were both angry but also -happy- to encounter such opportunity where they can make other kids afraid of them. They enjoyed the dispute, and they were proud of themselves. It almost felt like they have so many negative energy inside, which can finally be unleashed.

Yesterday was the announcement day of UN (national examination) result for high school students in Surabaya. And just like previous years, it was a tradition for them to paint names on each others’ uniforms, continued with a motorbike ride around the city. It was a celebration of freedom which, to most older people, were considered as useless. But what happened yesterday was worse. Some students brought our nation’s red-and-white flag, filled with scratches of paint on it. And a wave of protests from people both old and young, was published through Twitter.


Most of them demand those students to be arrested, while others, like always, blame the education system and its institution for not teaching appropriate behavior toward our sacred symbol: the red and white flag.

Can we blame the students for not ‘treating’ our flag with respect?

Things that happened to my nephew, or to Surabaya’s “Bonek” (fanatic supporters of Persebaya soccer club) who often ends in violence raise a question to guiltless parents who can only blame others but themselves. Unleashed emotions can turn to negative actions if parents didn’t respond to what their children need. Kids are always full of energy and curiosity, and it is their parents’ responsibility to help them determine the correct actions.

As for the flag incident, I don’t understand why people are making such a big deal out of it or even punish them to court. I know our flag is supposed to be treated with respect, but does anyone ever bother to explain to their children “Why?”

Maybe to the student who scratched it, our ‘sacred’ flag was just a symbol. A fabric which can absorbs paints, a spontaneous act without further thinking about destroying something that supposed to be loved. And when it comes to love, who can blame anyone for not loving something? Maybe they were guilty of being disrespectful to the flag, but whose fault is it for not giving them a country to love?

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If You Decide To Go To Hell

Last night, I was watching one of my favorite series “Glee” and got mixed feelings about the show’s gay character: Kurt and Blaine. I’m not homophobic, I’m just a parent who is still uncertain on how to react. To be honest, they aren’t exactly the kind of role model that you want your son to have, right?

Kurt & Blaine of Glee

But homosexuality is not the only confusing culture which bothers me as a parent of a young boy. A study has presented a controversial result where 51% of female students in Jabodetabek area admitted they have had a sexual intercourse. It’s not a matter of virginity, but it’s how prone they are to sexual diseases and unwanted pregnancy. And yet for the minister, sexual education is still considered unimportant.

As I searched for answers to overcome my confusion, I became lost. For some people, one of the reason behind this “alarming” facts of teenager behavior is parents who no longer stressed on the importance of religion. For our government, represented by the ministry of education, ‘character-building‘ (which will soon be implanted to our current school curriculum) is going to fix this problem. And according to our minister of communication and information Tifatul Sembiring, pornography is the reason behind this mess, hence blocking it (and putting Ariel to jail, maybe) will become the best solution available.

None of the above mentioned solution is satisfactory. Instead of finding the answers, I became angry and more confuse than ever. Luckily after Glee, there was a documentary program about the recent megaquake and tsunami in Japan. And somehow, it was the scientist’s words that opened my mind. “We can’t pretend that the threat of natural disasters don’t exist. We need to find a way on how to live with them, and prepare ourselves for the danger they possessed.”

Now, that, my friend, is what I call a reasonable solution. There’s nothing wrong with having a solid knowledge about religious doctrines that you believe, but when it comes to protecting your child against something that he is unaware of, we need to go beyond heaven and hell.

First of all, we all need to accept the fact that every normal teenager will want a taste of intimacy. But sexual intercourse, is not the only way to satisfy those needs. Especially when it puts you at risk of being infected with deadly viruses such as herpes, hepatitis, and of course the incurable and life-threatening virus of HIV. When you’re enjoying a sexual intimacy, you are “doing it” with anyone else whom your partner have ever had sex with. And who knows what those people are carrying in their genitals. That is why we are strongly recommended to only doing it with our “eligible” partner whom we are married with. It decreases the possibility of being infected with those deadly viruses.

People are threatened by natural disasters, the same way my son (along with the rest of our future generation) shall be exposed to negative sexual stimulator such as pornography. But hiding it away from his sight will be like pretending that tsunamis and earthquakes don’t exist. At any moment, not just from the media, but also from friends, my son (and everybody else’s child) will see it, hear it, feel it, and eventually digest it. Our duty is to provide them with survival tools to choose the good ones, and give them sensible reasons on why they must leave the bad ones. And to my opinion, the hot flames of hell is not sensible enough for the critical minds of the modern young.

Nothing is taboo when it comes to survival and staying alive. It does not mean that I disagree with religions who forbid sexual activities before (or without) marriage, but I do know now, that I can’t solely rely on its doctrines to keep my son away from the danger of modernization. But on the other hand, I can always explain the importance of wearing a condom, just in case he decides to go to hell.

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This post was submitted to join “The Jakarta Post – IMO Blog” Blogging competition on May 2011.

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