To Club Or Not To Club? That Is The Question

I must confess that when I was assigned to write this article, I did a fair amount of kicking and screaming and asking that this cup be passed from me! Why, you may ask. Seems like an easy enough article to write, except for well, one small detail, I have never been clubbing. Ever.

My life can be loosely divided into two: BK (Before kids) and AK (After Kids). Those who have met me often assume that I have lived quite a “happening” life and they are not wrong to think that! I like to think that I have! Though these days, kids parties and mopping the febrile brows of my children are as “happening” as it gets!

I grew up in a Christian family where both Mum and Dad were quite strict. I had a midnight curfew right up till the day I got married! Growing up, my parents always instilled in us the importance of our Christian faith and of course, like any good parents, spurred us on to do well in our studies. Obviously, indulging in activities such as clubbing and going to dance parties were a clear “no-no”. Dad always said that no good could come out of loud music and provocative dance moves.

Being the good girl that I am (ahem), I never went against my parents’ wishes. So far, I have painted a pretty goody-two-shoes impression of my youth. It does look like it, but like any youth, I have had my own fair share of youthful angst and defiance (like going out with my first boyfriend against my parents’ wishes when I was 16), but that is another article altogether.

I guess I was curious about clubbing and what went on at the clubs but it never really bothered me enough to defy my parents. At the time, I was actively involved in my church’s youth group and my time was taken up with organising BBQs, camps, day trips etc., that I did not even feel like I was missing out on anything.

Now as a parent, I find myself often auditing the way that I was brought up. Time brings perspective, and I definitely see where my parents were coming from. Surely actively visiting a place where alcohol and other heinous substances are readily available should not be a place where we would like our kids to frequent. However, the flip side would be that if our children really wanted to obtain these “substances”, clubbing would not be the only way to procure them.

As parents, we want to shield our children from the evils of the world. While we do the best we can, realistically, we cannot shield them entirely, or forever. There will come a time where they will grow up and take their own steps in the world.

I believe that the best thing we can do is to bring our children up to be God-fearing and God-loving, and immerse them in the life of the church, where they will make friends with like-minded youth. Do not just shield them away from the things that will lead them down the wrong path, instead give them the tools and the support necessary to make the right decisions in life.

I have often been asked why I still have not been clubbing. Surely I am able now to go without it being a big “no-no”? Well, the truth of the matter is, the world is a better place for not seeing my dance moves (or lack of) and to be honest, I am very happy with my “happening” life of snuggling in front of the TV with my husband and kids!

Annabel Ong is a full-time youth worker at TRAC Youth Ministries (TRUTHMIN).