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My beef with ‘selfie generation’ parenting


Recently when schools were closing for the holidays, my elder sister requested me to stand in for her at a parents meeting at her son's school which also doubled up as the closing date. This was going to be my first time attending such a meeting in my adult life, so I was very excited to play the role. On the said day, I woke up psyched up for the event and dressed as a normal parent would during our good old days. My long black skirt with a short sleeved blouse, a head wrap and flat shoes defined me on this day.

Since I did not want to get there late, I took a cab and maneuvered through the shortcuts and was in the school in half an hour. I was half walking and half running as I headed to the hall when I suddenly stopped as I noted I was the odd one out. I was the only parent in hurry to get to the hall. Right before me were other parents dressed in a rather unique way. Women were dressed in tight rugged jeans with crop tops balancing on heels they only could manage with hairstyles that I thought only existed in movies. One mother in front of me was there squatting next to her child taking a selfie using a selfie stick. That isn't what caught my eye, what caught my eye was her luminous green Mohawk and a Yellow nose ring that stood out.

Before I could even absorb that sight, another parent had gone live on Facebook and was busy telling her audience how it's 'Happening Now' as she took a panoramic view of the surrounding ending up featuring me in her live show without my consent. All this while her identical twin sons stood next to her like mannequins with the 'Peace' gesture. I was there standing mouth agape when another parent drove past us at a snail's pace as if he was in a road show with loud music and the children in the car singing along to the music. All I could see were tiny hands stuck out of the car windows and innocent voices singing along to the music.

"Now watch me whip whip, watch me nae nae" I immediately reached for my phone to call my sister and confirm what occasion it was she had sent me to attend and represent her. After she confirmed that it was a parents Day doubling up as closing day, I regained my consciousness that the whole scene had taken from me and walked straight into the hall where the teachers and the school head teacher were addressing parents.

Just at the entrance of the hall was a parent crucifying a teacher for having slapped the daughter two weeks earlier. In her hand was a hospital bill which she apparently settled after claiming the slap affected the daughter's dental formula. I really wanted to stand there and watch the drama unfold but then I saw my nephew running up to me and guiding me to a seat inside the hall.

I walked to my seat with my body slanting to my front with my head bowed almost imitating Zinjanthropus the nut cracker just so I could avoid distracting anyone in the process as I believed in there was serious business. I sat down and looked up only to see the parents in there concentrating on other things yet the head teacher was addressing them. There was actually a group of parents who had gathered around a Pulse magazine probably wowing at whatever Tony Mochama was telling them on that day. That my friend is the scene that unfolded in a school with the current generation of parents. I officially give up!


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