(The following article is a brief translation from the Scoop Page of the Thai language ‘Khom Chat Leuk’ newspaper – with a little added commentary)
How many times have we have read in the newspapers about some teenager who has run away from home because of supposed-shame; that is – in regards to having had sex….?
Why? Because Thai parents constantly teach their children that ‘sex is wrong’. Parents believe that if their child has sex before the right time – ‘she’ has to been taught again. ‘She’ has to believe her mother. She must not have a boyfriend. She must not have sex. She must not bunk off school. If ‘she’ can not adhere to what her mother teaches her, then she will upset her mother and only bring shame on the family.
Thisan Nakhorn, Director of the Kanchanaphisek Home For Youth put across an good example of how a lot of Thai parents ‘teach their kids the wrong way’. When Thai kids are asked to express past experiences when they were in the wrong, they feel stressed. When they have had to confront their parents in such instance, their parents have given them no way out, no option. “Just don’t do it again!” “You are very bad”.
One girl from a well-to-do family of a decent social status had this to say “In the evenings I had to sit there and watch the TV with my mom and dad. If we saw any immoral behaviour committed by some teenagers then my parents would shout out that that they were very bad children. And they would teach that me I must never act like that! Otherwise, if I did, I would upset them very much and make them lose face”.
It was this very girl who would eventually run away from home after she became pregnant. Why? “I just didn’t have the guts to confront my parents about my pregnancy, they would have hated me and not accepted me anymore”.
Thisan had this to advise on teaching our children the correct way “If we teach our kids that so many things are bad – ‘Don’t have associate with this friend/that friend’ ‘Don’t go out at night’ ‘Don’t smoke’ ‘Don’t take drugs’ ‘Don’t have sex’ etc… then that is wrong. We have to give them other options and understand the state of present-day society. It’s best not to stand there and dictate orders to your children in some kind of old-fashioned way. Teach them what is right and what is wrong but do it nicely, don’t try and put fear in them”
Thisan went on to say “Give your child a chance. Don’t stubbornly teach them ‘Sex is very bad it will ruin your studies, ruin your future. Teach them instead that if they have a sweetheart to tell their parents, let them ask for advice and teach them about correct contraception. Let them feel that if they have done wrong – they will have the courage to say so, they won’t feel under pressure, they won’t feel worried and they will be able to face the facts about what has happened.
It has to be said that so many Thai children and especially girls are in a very pitiable predicament. If they are under 18 and become pregnant, they have no way out, no choice. They are not allowed to continue their studies (government policy). They have little chance of being able to bring up their child in a decent way. In fact, they are made to feel like criminals!
Let us, from now, teach our children ‘The Right Way’. www.thai-blogs.com