Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 30th 2017 Contents WHEN WE HAD our first two
boys, my husband and I
pledged to raise them to the
best of our ability, to love the
Lord and ensure that they
were morally and ethically
sound in the process.
We were very protective of them as any new
parents would be and as they grew we realized
why, to some extent this was indeed necessary
and while we could never protect and shield their
young and impressionable minds from everything,
we did try to filter as much as we could.
Almost everywhere we went, there were images of
scantily clad women either in real life, in
commercials or on billboards. Most advertisers
believe that sex sells and boy were they selling it.
How then were we supposed to help them guard
their integrity in such a sex crazed world?
As they grew older and the world became "sexier"
the need for raising young men that challenged
societal norms became our focus.
Well, we aren't Amish, in case you thought so.
Our children are afforded many of the privileges
that others have, however, they have been taught
from an early age to be careful with the things that
they spend their time and energy on.
We were very selective with what movies and tv
shows were allowed and we have found that this
trend has continued to this day well into their teen
years, to the extent that they now manage and
look out for their younger brothers ages 5 and 2 in
the same way.
They were taught simple courtesies like, to hold
the door open for their elders and for ladies, to pull
the chair at a table, to give up their seat if needed,
to walk on the outer side of a lady when on the
By Niki Rodrigues
street etc. In other words they have been groomed
to be gentlemen, yes, chivalry has been
They are now two very handsome young men aged
15 and 16 and they continue to get attention from
the opposite sex but contrary to what is allowed
by most these days, our boys aren't allowed to
Shriek! Cue the theme from Psycho...
Why you might ask?
Firstly, they don't have jobs and cannot afford to
treat a young lady to an afternoon or evening out.
While they are very free to like or be attracted to
someone of the opposite sex, as a family we just
do not encourage or facilitate dating.
You like someone? By all means, let us know, we'll
be happy to meet her. You can spend time together
in groups, but no one on one dating.
Because of the relationship we have nurtured with
our sons, they respect that and without making
them sound like mindless zombies who listen
without fail to what we say but are anxiously
awaiting the first opportunity to skedaddle once
they've reached the age, let me assure you that
they are not and while they are not perfect, none
of us are, they do respect and understand our
As a society when America sneezes we seem to
catch the cold too, so with the advent of the
Disney channel, Nickelodeon and other networks
that actually program and influence our way of
thinking, behaviours and attitudes that were once
looked down upon have now become socially
acceptable. From young children talking back to
their parents, to them making out in the back of
cars, renting hotel rooms on prom night etc. we
have lowered our standards to heinous levels and
are reaping the "rewards" for it daily.
It is our opinion that recreational dating should not
Secondly, at this age and stage, you need to be
focused on your academic career and finding
yourself as an individual and emerging young man.
Having a serious, romantic relationship with a
young lady at this time will just complicate an
already tumultuous time in this adolescent phase.
Additionally, when you LOVE someone today and
HATE them tomorrow how does that help an
already emotionally volatile time in the life of a
Add raging hormones and strong sexual impulses,
why we would add this especially when in many
cases our children have proven themselves to not
be responsible or emotionally mature enough to
Even adults can scarcely handle heart break, so
what makes us feel it's okay to throw that spoke in
their wheel at this stage and then turn around and
expect them to excel at school and be pleasant at
In all things there must be balance and to enforce
what may be considered high expectations like
these, there must be an established loving
relationship between the parents and teen. One
that facilitates trust and obedience, that way they
would understand that even though you are their
parent and not their friend, you are their ally and
your rules must be followed because you have only
their best interests at heart.
Niki Rodrigues is a home-schooling mom to 7 children, a
devout wife and Christian. She is also an image consultant,
personal stylist and host to several parenting workshops. Niki
can be found on Facebook @MIHICS (Made in His Image
Consultancy Services) and @DaughtersOTK (Daughters of the
King) or via telephone at 753-9087.
Raising Gentlemen in
a Sex Crazed World
12 • CARE MAGAZINE
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