Would you go with children to the party?
Posted Sunday, October 27 2013 at 00:00
It is an all-adult party but you insist on taking the tots along. Is it in order?
“Can we bring children?” Everyone has an opinion about children at parties, concerts or other public gatherings. I have fond childhood memories of attending grown-up gatherings, for just a few minutes. I had to be reasonably polite, and I could snag a few delicious snacks, maybe even a glass of juice. The rules were clear: Children were welcome, only to a point. But things have changed.
“My children can never stay behind when there is a comedy show in town,” confesses Morine Kemigisha ,a mother of two, a 10-year-old boy and six-year-old girl. She went on to say that she had taken them with her to both the Kampala City carnival and Pablo comedy show.
“Much as I saw people turn to look at my babies and I, I did not mind the stares. That is how we spend our good time as family. I can afford the tickets to all those places,so,why not attend with my babies?”
Some events are for everyone, while others are for a more mature crowd- one wonders, if there are limits to the outings or events for parents to take their children.
Simon Semuko, a father of two aged nine and six , explains that some of these parents have no caregivers at home. So, the best option is bring the children along to have fun too. But he does not believe that it is appropriate.
Why take the little one?
Different parents have different reasons they take their children to such events. Beatrice Langariti a mother of five, says, “Our understanding of fun and love is different. Some parents take their children for music concerts and the like with conviction that children have fun while there.”
Although children to a small extent enjoy the events, there is a lot more than fun that children witness and learn from there.
Semuko says that his nine-year-old son crammed the condom advert on TV. “My boy runs around the house shouting… ‘If it is not on, the game is off’. I guess he does not even know what a condom looks like,” shares Semuko.
To Semuko, this is a clear sign that if he took his son to a concert, he would grasp so many things meant for adults and at one point he would embarrass him. He goes on to add that, it is negligent of parents to take their children with them to adults-only events.
How the child is affected
“Children are like sponges, they soak in everything. When a child sees his or her mother or aunt dressed a certain way, they find no fault with it,” states Langariti. Besides, children are exposed to immoral acts such as inappropriate dress code and filthy language at such events.
Like Langariti, Winnie Namusoke a psychologist at Hope in Life Services and mother of four argues that, “Children always want to try out what they see. The audience could be of alcoholics and children ask to taste alcohol. Next thing at home, they will storm the fridge and you will not love the results.”
Barbra Maureen Kalumba, a child counsellor at Mildmay Uganda, warns that once parents expose their children to an x-rated environment, they signal that it is okay for their children to attend such without necessarily seeking permission. That is not appropriate.
Events to take your child to
“Before taking a child for an outing, a parent should consider how the event will benefit the child,” says Langariti. She adds that she would never take her child to a discotheque because there are all kinds of people with weird habits.
Every parent should consider the duration of the event, its content, the people invited and the objective.
Although taking young children to concerts is likely to instill violence, obscenity and insolence in them, Namusoke says going out with an adolescent would enable a parent watch over his or her behaviour and advise accordingly. She insists that the teenager is a young adult who with or without their parent will want to explore the world. Therefore, the parent would advise their child on what to do or not.