It is not your job to fend for your family, as a teenager you should know this.

This article is directed at teenagers who are from struggling background and parents who are pressuring them. I have worked in your shoes before and I can tell you, it wasn’t easy. It is not easy to not know where and when the next meal will come, it is not easy seeing your friends and neighbors do things you can only dream of, it is not easy being called out for owing rents, school fees, it is not easy not being able to afford bare essentials due to no fault of yours. It is not easy having to struggle through life just because your parents could not provide. Believe me I know how it hurts.

As much as I understand this struggle, I also understand that the choices we make during these times go a long way to determine our future and shape our lives. Know this, as teenagers, there is so much you can do to help out, menial jobs, petty trading, student jobs, etc., however all these should at best help you pay few bills and maybe relief your parents of your pocket money but seriously no one should ask more than that from you. No parent has the moral right to ask any teenager to provide for the family.

It is fair enough that you want to help, when you are from a struggling family and trust me that comes with its blessings. However in helping, understand that you can contribute especially by taking care of your own little expenses but not to the level that you want to take over the responsibilities of your parents. Now this is why, trying to take over your parents’ responsibilities would push you into doing things that are ungodly, immoral and illegal. And like I mentioned earlier, no parent should ask these of any teenager.

I have had opportunities to speak with young minds who followed the shady paths and their first excuse was “we were poor and I needed to support my family”. As much as this feels like a good excuse, destroying another person to protect your family would always never end well. This excuse doesn’t make you spotless or blameless however I feel the most blame should go to parents who collect money from these teenagers or who lay the responsibilities of the family on them.

Understand this, as a teenager, you have your whole life ahead of you. Don’t be in a hurry to grow up, don’t set fire on your future just to keep people in your present warm. You should not be depended on for anything monetary by your parents, it should be the other way round. Don’t let parents and friends’ pressure drive you into fraud, drugs, money rituals, sex for money (runs), living the fast life or any other social vice for that matter. It may be fun right now but the repercussions are deadly.

You have potentials to be great, the devil has seen it hence he is laying the path of destruction before you so these potentials won’t manifest. A time will come when what is not enough now would become surplus, when you will be able to make the ones you love happy without destroying someone else or your own future, when you won’t have to offer yourself to the devil for few crumbs but till then, keep your head up and keep your hands clean.

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