The issue of #Houseparty among the young people has raised emotions over the past few months. This photo was taken in the year 2001 outside club Coco Savanna in Nakuru, I was just 17 years. We had just left a house party, came for a jam session and here I was Marijuana and Alcohol intoxicated. House parties didn’t start this year. What you see today has been happening for decades.
In my late teen years and early twenties I attended almost 10 different house parties where all sorts of unethical and immoral behaviors took place. I have even witnessed two cases where we lost colleagues. In one case a young man suffered a hit and run accident and died on the spot as we leave from a house party and another case at Milimani in Nakuru a lady mixed excess alcohol and cocaine and died. It was her first time to drink alcohol or use any drug. Most of these parties took place at Milimani, Section 58, Lanet and Greenstead areas. One time we attended one in Naivasha and another in Kawangware, Nairobi.
One thing that stood out every time I attended those parties and all the Disco/clubs that I attended is that I would always secretly pray immediately we arrived. Something inside was telling me to be careful as that was not my territory and so I had limits in everything. Most of the time I would take the role of a cheer guy, DJ, serving drinks and guiding others what to do but I would not do it myself apart from the extreme cases where I would take some drugs to ‘fit in’. Do you know why there was always that inner power warning me?
1. I had and still have prayerful parents. They did not know where I was or what I was doing all that time but one thing they always did is pray and from this there was a hedge of protection and the spirit of God trying to warn me that that was not my territory.
2. I was brought up in Church and through Sunday School, the many camps, seminars, rallies and guidance by serious and dedicated Sunday School teachers, the seed of the word of God that was planted in me during those early years guided me through and though there was peer influence, pressure from the trends, and pursuit to seek for approval, I knew what was right, what was evil and feared God. I was among them but there are things I feared doing with them because of my fear for God and personal integrity.
We didn’t have mobile phones or social media like it is today but had very strong networks that we could organize and have amazing numbers most of them from the rich families.
In the university I witnessed a number of such events where guys would travel from as far as Mombasa, Kampala, Kisumu etc to attend such events.
From my experience, and bearing in mind that in our days there were no mobile phones and social media to share and mobilize, at some point parents may not have control of their teenagers as within 2 hours your son or daughter can have traveled, mess up and come back without you realizing that s/he was outside the compound. One of my best friend who was just 17 years snicked at around 11pm when everyone was asleep but while coming back home at 5am he had a road accident and died outside their gate. The parents had not realized he slept out.
What then do we do?
In the scriptures, we see Job had his children hold house parties frequently and he was aware that they would sin against God. Job1:4-5, His sons used to go [in turn] and feast in the house of each one on his [b]day, and they would send word and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. 5 When the days of their feasting were over, Job would send [for them] and consecrate them, rising early in the morning and offering burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, “It may be that my sons have sinned and [c]cursed God in their hearts.” Job did this at all [such] times.
You see, he may not have stopped them but he dealt with the situation spiritually. He prayed for them while they were having fun and when they came back he would raise a burnt offering. As a parent you have to be Alert and Aware. Your kid could not be going out but inside your house s/he is practicing and addicted to pornography, masturbation and all that and you think being indoors is safe. Some are in cults and they follow up, engage and participate in activities online, with your phone inside your house. Pray, Pray and keep praying for them whether they go out or they are always in the house.
My parents were praying and every time I attended those wicked parties they were not aware but the power of their prayers were following me and influencing my mind and so I had limits and even when I dropped out of school(form 2) and went to the streets, for the 4 years I was in the streets their prayers sustained me and it’s not their physical influence that transformed me, made me give my life to Christ, go back home and accept to go back to school but their spiritual intervention through prayers did.
When I back-slided while at class 8, all the years I was in the world the word of God and the discipline that I had gotten in Sunday School sustained me and I was aware when going to the extremes.
Proverbs 22;6, Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.
As a parent, teach your children the word of God. Teach them how to study, meditate, pray and fast. Ensure they go to church and actively participate in Sunday School, Teens and Youth programs and always let them have a mentor who they can always open up to.
Don’t be so busy making money, helping others, preaching etc and forget that your family needs your time, attention and affection.
Engage your daughter and son. Get to know what they want to feel happy and discuss about it. Watch motivational movies together, take her out, go shopping together and create a friendly environment to open up. Show your love. Positive attention is a must for teens. Spend time with your teen to show him or her that you care. Listen to your teen when he or she talks, and respect your teen’s feelings.
Once in a while tell them to write down a list of what s/he want, wishes to have or see, the dos and don’ts and go through the list together.
I did all sorts of fashion, dreadlocks, ear piercing etc and there after changed and today I serve God with my family and mentoring a lot of young people. Keeping up with fashion is important to teens. That may mean wearing provocative or attention-seeking clothing or dyeing their hair. Unless your teen wants tattoos or extreme wear, avoid criticizing and save your protests for the bigger issues. Fashions change, and so will your teen.
Almost every man tried smoking papers at some point or tasted ethanol in school. Most teens will try alcohol and smoke a cigarette at some point. Many will even try marijuana. Talking to your kids frankly and openly about drugs and alcohol is one way to ensure it doesn’t progress further.
Red flags include a sudden change in peer group (especially if the new friends encourage negative behavior), refusing to comply with reasonable rules and boundaries, or avoiding the consequences of bad behavior by lying. Similarly, if your teen is spending too much time alone that can also indicate problems.
Keep in mind that whatever problems your teen is experiencing, it is not a sign that you’ve somehow failed as a parent. Instead of trying to assign blame for the situation, focus on your teen’s current needs. The first step is to find a way to connect with what they are experiencing emotionally and socially.
Remember, if you are excessively harsh to your teens and always lock them up, depression might catch up with them or issues of pornography and masturbation and means later you will be dealing with other serious problems.
I am one of those young people who was extremely exposed to all these issues, dropped out of school at Form Two, was out for Four years, later gave my life to Christ, got transformed and later went back to school and today am living a purposeful life. You need wisdom, the grace of God and dedication to help them grow up well. Do not give up on the young people. Do not blame the phones, technology, teachers or even blame them, no. It is about age, parenthood and spirituality.