AS a parent I’ve always wished there was some kind of wonder drug you could inject into the brains of children when they reach their teenage years containing all of your life experiences… so that they could make informed decisions.
I’ve made my fair share of dumb mistakes in my time and although I have regularly tried to highlight some of the pitfalls encountered to my own four children I’m sure most of it has gone in one ear and out the other.
But there are two life experiences that I continually hammer home to them, one in particular to my two sons, and the other to their sisters as well.
Firstly, if you take a girl out make sure you bring her home safely, no matter what happens, no matter what row you have on the date and no matter how your feelings get hurt.
I took a former girlfriend to a concert. The magnificent Freddie Mercury and Queen were in town and I had a couple of VIP press tickets. She was vivacious and, although she hated it, a man magnet.
I was young and immature and hated it even more. I was so jealous of the attention she was getting from guys, lost my temper and went home.
At 4am, I was woken by a knock on the door. The police asked me to follow them to the station as my girl had been raped as she left the concert. She was crying. They thought it might help if I was by her side.
I will never forget her howls of anguish. I will never forget the look of disgust on the face of her grandmother when she asked: ‘Why did you leave her?’ I will never let a son of mine repeat my mistake.
Secondly, don’t drink and drive.
A close Bahraini friend and her family are going through a traumatic time at the moment. Her sister was a passenger in a car driven by a young man who had enjoyed a good night out in Adliya.
He probably thought he was indestructible and a few drinks wouldn’t impair his judgment. It did. He wasn’t paying attention and when he sped over a speed bump the car catapulted in the air, smashed through a barrier and landed in a crumpled heap.
All three in the car were hurt. My friend’s sister was the only one left unconscious. Apart from concussion she suffered a dislocated elbow, broken collarbone, a chest fracture, cuts to her head down to her feet and, worse of all, serious spinal injuries.
The student may now have to undergo spinal surgery which could involve an air ambulance to specialist medics in the US.
The foolish driver faces a likely lengthy spell in prison once the court case is heard and, but for the grace of God, it could have been me.
Aged 17, I had just passed my driving test, was invited to report on a nightclub opening and took a friend with two of her pals.
I thought I was indestructible and a few drinks wouldn’t impair my judgment. It did. I wasn’t paying attention and when I sped round a tight corner the road went one way and my car went the other.
My beloved VW Beetle spun out of control on two wheels, missed a lamppost by millimetres before righting itself.
We were lucky. I drove the girls home in silence, thinking how could I tell their parents, in different circumstances, that I had killed or seriously injured their daughters?
I will never let a child of mine repeat my mistake.
Stanley Louis Szecowka
Editor/Journalist & Blogger, Restaurant & Motors Reviewer, FinTech Writer, Manager, Trainer.
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