Remember Malcom in the middle?
This family comedy show was a fan favourite. It had a cult following, a time when the internet and social media was unheard of. People tuned in every week not out of influence but because they loved it. Yes, am talking to everyone who watched Game of Thrones due to peer pressure. This show is a classic. Looking back at past episodes I realize why we enjoyed it so much as kids.
The show was about a dysfunctional middle class family.
In between the dark humour, their stories and watching everyone grow. This was a messed up family.
Malcom being the middle child was the only one who seemed ‘normal.’ He hated being around his family and was sometimes embarrassed to be seen with them. His mom was constantly shouting at them. His big brother bullied him and got away with it. Which is why I strongly believe mental health begins at home.
It begins with the parents.
Flash forward to the age of the internet.
Yesterday I was shocked to see a twitter video of a dad being violent to his kid. It had thousands of views, retweets and likes. In the video, the dad jokes about how he makes his child eat whenever he refuses. He tries to feed his child who shakes his head. So he reenacts the whole thing with a Mickey Mouse toy on the table. Out of nowhere he violently punches the toy several times. Then goes back to feed his child who immediately eats.
What a lot of people who agreed with him failed to notice was the traumatized child. You see, when the dad reenacts the situation the child smiles a bit. Poor kid thought the dad was just playing. Then when he punches the toy, you could see how scared the child was. So yes, the dad did finally make the child eat but it was out of fear. The saddest part of this video is hearing a woman laugh in the background. Meaning, this is quite normal for them.
Let me use this family as an example for a minute.
Two things are to come out of this. If that’s a boy, he’ll grow up controlling and violent towards women. He’s been taught by his father to use fear to get what he wants.
If that’s a girl, she’ll most likely end up in a violent relationship. Ever wondered why women find it hard to leave these situations. Well, that’s because they learnt this from home.
I look at Malcom and the anxiety he had. All the screaming and shouting from his parents really did a good one on him.
African parents are not different. Its almost like they’re cut from the same cloth. They have no idea about mental health or maybe, they choose to ignore it. Will they even acknowledge the damage they’ve done to their children? No. Most of them choose to hide behind religion.
I’ll tell you what. I’ve seen parents on the news defend their grown children using religion.
For instance, the story of a guy who sent money to his ‘girlfriend’ and had his calls ignored. Drove over four hours to where she was. Parked his car outside the premises then walked to a hardware store and bought an axe. He went back to his car and waited until she came out with her friends. He ambushed her killing her on the spot.
When this story hit the news, his parents were the first to defend him with religion. “Oh, he was such a good son who went to church every Sunday” You know, I too used to go to church, but it wasn’t for the gospel. It was the money my parents gave me as tithe. I didn’t give tithe. I kept the money and bought snacks with it. Do you know how much 50sh was worth to a child? And this happened every Sunday. I eventually stopped attending church as an adult after they changed the Wi-Fi password.
African parents think discipline is a one size fits all. Spare the rod spoil the child, but damage them mentally.
They will gladly damage a child through adulthood, then act surprised when they commit suicide or murder.
African parents believe religion is the answer to all the problems their children are facing. Depressed? Jesus is the answer. Suicidal? Jesus is the answer. Bipolar? Jesus is the answer. They’ll consult their pastor even before they talk to their children
African parents think a child has been bewitched whenever they act up.
Its time to accept, African parents are damaged.