Mercedes Gonzalez Aguade
HAVANA TIMES — At the pharmacy, I ran into some of the mothers of my son’s friends. We had a long conversation and, like always, almost every topic had to do with the central issue in our lives: children.
We spoke about education, clothing, teenagers and their changes, in short, everything that’s wrong in the world and how to fix it. Then, we started talking about something that worries us: there are no places where they can vent and channel all of the hormonal energy of this stage in life.
Sometimes, they go to places that aren’t suited to their age (they are either too old or too young for a particular environment) and almost always end up taking away the negative side of that environment.
That’s why, most of the time, we force them to stay at home, sitting in front of the TV, the computer or videogames, denying them the right to have fun and generally enjoy themselves. As mothers, we worry about their safety and integrity, but we feel guilty about this situation.
I say this thinking about my own son, who barely goes out. There are very few options out there: Vedado, the Coppelia ice cream parlor and the occasional party thrown by a friend or classmate. The movies could be another option, but, in the age of DVDs, kids see the cinema as something old fashioned.
Everyone, mothers and children, would be grateful if there were places for teenagers at affordable prices, where alcohol and violence were strictly prohibited.
Some mothers offer their homes once a month so that kids will have a few hours of fun, listening to music in a safe environment without alcohol. That is all fine and good, but I feel it limits kids a lot, as, ultimately, they continue to be confined between four walls, and it is good for them to go out and get to know the world.
Another concern of ours is that, once alone and away from home, they should want to experience their teenage years to “the fullest” and, overwhelmed by their wish to have fun, should skip that beautiful stage in their lives, a time when proper guidance is hard to offer.