The latest news from Yemen has shocked the world. Going viral around the social networks many are condemning marriages between male adults and young girls. The killing of 8 year old Rawan due to internal bleeding on her wedding night has popped up serious questions about the rights of these kids in Yemen, a land where around 14 percent of its daughters are married before the tender age of 15 and 52 percent before the age of 18, according to Yahoo news. “Shocking!” we all said. “This must stop” was the natural cry of every sane person on earth. Children are to enjoy their innocence. Fact! However, the question I would like to posit in this blog is this: are we protecting our own kids here in Malta from losing their innocence too?
This Summer I was actively involved in organising live-ins for kids ranging from 6 year olds up till 18 year olds. One thing I noticed is that kids at a young age are not children any more. Some things I noticed are that kids are more restless than I remember. Furthermore, one thing which one can easily notice is that children these days do not have a clue how to enjoy a fun game without showing competitive traits. Is this the result of all the competition which we adults are introducing into them? Piano lessons, art lessons, sports, English, Maltese, Maths and all other private lessons, leave no room for children to enjoy fun times. Competition is becoming second nature to children.
Another fact I noticed is that children are easily tired. After a few hours playing and enjoying themselves, surprisingly enough one can notice that kids appear tired and just want to sleep. This is so worrying! I remember my days when we used to consider sleeping as wasting hours of having fun. Few hours of playing are just enough to dry up the energy. Is this the kind of behaviour we want our children to have?
Aren’t social networks, naming facebook supposed to be for over 13 year olds? Most kids I met already have a facebook account, no matter the age. This is worrying in its own regard. Furthermore, I noticed that most kids don’t know how to settle an argument without resorting to facebook. A fact that really shocked me was that two 12 year olds, after a small argument, resorted to updating their facebook status rather than tackling the argument and moving on.
As much as children brides is shocking and worrying I consider such behaviour as worrying. We adults need to take care of our future generations. It is very positive that kids are brighter than ever, more intelligent than we used to be. This is a very easy fact to determine. However is it worth the price they are paying? Kids who do not wish to play for long hours; kids easily tired; kids who get bored playing with other kids without having materialistic benefits. This is the type of future generation we all want? By the way, for those of you who would like to put their conscience at ease and say that this article is related to some geographical area or some school this is not the case. Kids from all over Malta, from all strata of society with parents having different bank accounts shared the live-in experience.