Celebrity Column: ‘Parental Guidance’ by Peace Hyde

Hello and welcome to a Piece of Peace. Your weekly dose of motivation and inspiration. This week I would like to share on the topic “Parental Guidance.”

The week has just begun but I am already very excited. The reason is my favourite TV series MTV Shuga hits our screens this week. This year is particularly special for me because I got the awesome opportunity to take part in this amazing production.

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I learnt a lot about HIV/Aids and how teenagers perceive the world of sex. As I look forward to this amazing edutainment show, a thought comes to mind about a previous campaign we did to promote the program. We were at the University of UNILAG for a promotional concert where I came across a young girl who seemed quite stressed.

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She was contemplating taking part in the free HIV screening at the concert but was worried about the results. Through our conversations, she disclosed to me that she has had multiple sexual partners and did not always use protection because she never thought she was going to contract the disease. She said all her partners were boyfriends and hence she had always trusted them to be safe.

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Her parents had never spoken to her about sex or using protection; all she knew about the topic was what her friends who were already having sex shared with her. That conversation made me realise, just how dangerous a situation we are creating for our teenagers. The job of speaking to our children about sex has fallen to other children to do.  This means young people are not getting the accurate and timely information to prevent serious health risks like HIV/AIDS.

As Former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan once said, “Young people are the key in the fight against AIDS. By giving them the support they need, we can empower them to protect themselves against the virus. By giving them honest and straightforward information, we can break the circle of silence across all society.

By creating effective campaigns for education and prevention, we can turn young people’s enthusiasm, drive and dreams for the future into powerful tools for tackling the disease.” It is important for us as adults to always have an open dialogue about the dangers of sex with teenagers. The lifestyles and attitudes of friends have a profound impact on teens. One of the strongest predictors of adolescent behavior is the perceived or actual behavior of friends.

Adolescents who have close friends that are sexually involved are much more likely to become sexually involved as well. Teens frequently believe that they will gain respect from their peers and be more accepted if they are following perceived social norms, in this case if they are sexually experienced. It is important for parents to provide parental guidance and ensure that the right advice is reaching their wards before it is too late. Have a blessed week everyone and remember be yourself because everyone is taken.

Much love,

Peace Hyde.

 

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Peace Hyde

Peace Hyde

Peace Hyde

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