Home > Your say > OPINION: Parenting and Dowen’s Kid Cultists – Olaleye Olawale

OPINION: Parenting and Dowen’s Kid Cultists – Olaleye Olawale

INSIDEMAINLAND – One day, I went to drop my kids in school and at the school gate was this girl-child, who was crying bitterly and insisting she didn’t want to go to school that morning. Her teacher and colleagues came out to pacify her but she stood her ground, crying so hard. They were extremely worried because she had never been like that before. Instead, she was a school lover, they claimed.

Then, I walked up to the dad, who had come to drop her. “Sir, take this girl back home, pacify her and engage her”, and the man listened to me. As he carried her and turned back to the car, she stopped crying, hugged her dad and slept off on his shoulder. I tried to follow up with the man but didn’t find him afterwards. However, one thing was clear: that child was not meant for school that morning and it shouldn’t be difficult for any parent to tell.

I had this US-returnee friend, whose daughter told me one morning: “Dad, I don’t want to go to school today”. At first, he was livid at such a statement but later had a rethink. He called his daughter, sat her and said: “Look, baby, education is the only thing I can offer you as an inheritance. I honestly don’t like the sound of this, but I’ll yield to your request this one time because you have never been like this before”. And he kept her at home. He told me, “Wale, I don’t want to hear stories that touch the heart and start regretting that she warned me she didn’t want to go to school”.

Reading the accounts of Sylvester Oromoni’s parents, who saw fear, worry and a feeling of dejection in their child and still dismissed it as something else broke me further. Whether or not we like it, they failed there as parents. Even his physical changes were enough to have triggered my curiosity. This is especially so when the boy asked that his school be changed. I wouldn’t take much on the surface.

Oh, you don’t want him to miss classes? Well, not only would Sylvester be unable to go to school again and forever, other students would have to miss classes indefinitely. So, what have we gained as a result of our sheer indiscretion?

My children? Forget it, he or she would not step foot in that school until they confide in me what their fears were. In fact, for every complaint my kids make, we crosscheck with the teachers and make our stand clear. There’s no joking with my babies. They are all we’ve got. Hopefully, as parents, we’ll start to do better and take bullying very seriously.

However, for the kid cultists said to be at large and now declared wanted, I chuckled at the news. That’s a representation of the society we live in. Do you think those kids are at large without the orchestration of their parents? Maybe some of them. But parents, who could hide their criminal children from the investigation are themselves criminals and examples of why we are like this. There’s no debating it.

This is why government must have all the kids picked up and handed over to social services pending the outcome of the investigation. Sylvester’s case must be used as an opening to address these familiar ills. He has paid the supreme price but we must ensure it wasn’t in vain.

Adieu, Sylvester

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