January 12th, 2018
What can parents do to keep their kids safe? This thought is knocking more and more after the Zainab incident. When I was a kid modern technology and it's pros and cons didn't exist. They do now so if I had a little one to look after, I would take the following necessary steps.
1. Keep the number low. Two kids are a healthy rule. But I have seen poorer families who fail to pay attention to their kids is because of the over-population. Parents get saturated with the nags of their children and the only way to vent their energies is sex which they justify as Allah ki marzi. I feel it is very hard to keep an eye on one child, let alone two and impossible to keep an eye on fourteen successful pregnancies just like the woman who lives on the eleventh floor.
2. Education. Be open to kids about taboo topics like menstruation, sex, family planning, respecting the opposite gender. Telling boys to tame their inclination to abuse power in this polar and biased society can help a lot. There is no denying that sex is a need, like hunger and humans are born with this instinct. Owning a gun doesn't mean you keep shooting everywhere. Cross this wall of shame and educate your kids. If you are too shy, give them books. They will learn.
3. Don't be too strict. I have seen many kids go the wrong way only because their parents scolded or punished them even when the kids were right. The unwanted impositions on the kids made them so curious about the sin and the wrong that when they gained powers of adulthood, they sped up to their own disaster and caused hurt to some other being too. A lot of strictness will breed cowards.
4. Technology is like fire. It can cook. It can burn. Tell your children how to use the internet and how to stay safe from it's dangers. Porn hurts the younger minds. Carelessness hurts the adults. The internet is full of people who are not who they say they are. Writing details about the family's internal matters online can have dangerous consequences. So this whole point is another level of education.
5. Cameras. That is the second best thing humans have developed after wheel. And modern era is seeing cheap, inexpensive camera can be mounted almost anywhere. If you have to keep an eye on your kids, get a few cameras installed in and around home. I have a camera installed in my balcony just to see the sky and another camera which I use to see who is at the door.
6. GPS Trackers are not as cheap as cameras but they can be of a huge help especially when you know your little one shall always keep moving. Add one in his or her bag, one in the shoe etc. A little more investment can bless a lot of peace of mind. Some phone operators in Pakistan provide a wrist watch which can provide real time tracking location of the child wearing it against a monthly subscription.
7. Keep an eye on the habits of your children. An early eye can detect inclination towards drug addiction, smoking, violence and sexual abnormality. Educated minds can become corrupt too. A vigilante eye with perfect planning is an investment towards a good child and a good citizen.
In the end I feel that the person who raped and killed the young girl in Kasur might have faced good eyes taking care of him but at some point in life we all break but sometimes the snap transforms humans into monsters. Our polar society is a failed model where people are caring for their own daughters and sisters but consider their legal right to scan the body contours of every woman they come across on street. After any tragedy, just see the shit-storm that blows in fierce current and the blame game starts. We are a dying nation and the only thing stopping us from vanishing is our momentum and volume. I feel we are already at a point of no return and the only thing that can save us is education. And by education I don't mean schools and colleges. The education that can cleanse the dirt from soul. And for that your would need a Perfect teacher, a perfect mentor. Just don't go to a darbar, aastana or a dargah for that after reading these lines. That is another venue to meet the devil in case you seek him. Remember that he already seeks you!