Child Upbringing – How To Teach Your Children To Be More Socially Responsible
This is the age of social media social life and as parents, we should be more mindful of the kinds of handsets we buy for our children who are still in the secondary school simply because it is the current fad for our children to be seen clutching such expensive handsets. The crux of my concern is the fact that when we buy handsets that have internet connection in them, we have succeeded in giving our children the authority to search through the web for pornography and expose them to the harmful effects of social media forums like Facebook where they may end up in the wrong hands of pedophiles and all manners of sexual perverts. You will not be there when they would be chatting on 2go social medium and making all manner of friends you will never be able to meet with and access them to figure out if they are suitable for the company of your child.
In most Nigerian cities nowadays, young boys and girls of secondary school age(s) hardly bother with saying ‘good morning’ or ‘good afternoon’ and so on to their older neighbours. All their greetings are always reserved for their parents, older siblings and their teachers. Now, one begins to wonder if this is the making of these children or as a result of lack of interest in their parents to teach their wards the beauty in our Africanness where greeting is paramount in our daily social living. Every child from age 8 to 18 you see these days is busy clutching a handset and socializing with people from strange cultures the world over. Even when a child is interested in acknowledging your presence with a greeting these days, the greeting is never given in its fullness. What you will hear is ‘good morning’ and what happens to the other one that bears “sir or ma”?
These children of ours would rather rub shoulders with elders and use ‘hi?’ on them because it is the norm in the Hollywood movies Nigerian movies’ markets have been flooded with. In Africa, you don’t allow your children to use that ‘hi?’ on an elderly person or someone older than them even if it is by few years. ‘Hi?’ as the case may be is a question clichéd out of ‘how are you?’ And in Nigeria, it is purely an exclusive preserve of the elders and older people who use that after a child has greeted them and it comes as a retort in the field of exchange of pleasantries.
Another reason every responsible parent must be actively involved in the upbringing of their wards especially the teenagers is because of the sins of these days that no matter how hard you try, your children may not allow you in on their privacy. This is so because by the time you get to lay your hands on that handset you bought them (simply because it is ‘the in-thing’ (fad) for parents to remain in contact with their wards) they have logged out of such nasty sites where they watch pornography of every nature and calling. The days of keeping your children in-doors so that they would not socialize with delinquents is so 1980’s. Not these days anymore. Your child these days may not have to go outside to get that filthy drag-in of a friend as his/her handset that has internet connection has given him/her over five hundred friends and more. That angel of a child you know too well has learnt the art of deceitfulness to the extent that you are completely shut-out when it comes to the issue of sex.
Even if the entire family is busy watching a Nollywood movie rated 14 and PG, when they see people kissing and making-out in these movies, they simply stare quite very well at the actors to see if there are new things they would add to their repertoire of kissing skills. Not those days when your parents would only have to clear their throats once such scenes come up and a child is expected to run faster than lightening out of the sitting room to avoid a stinging slap from daddy or mummy.
The onus is now fallen on you as a parent to teach your children the ways of morality of old so that this nation stands salvaged by the evil influences of globalization. There are some moral values of centuries past that are still very cordial with this millennium, seek them out and save your children from moral rust that is walking every bit of our social, religious and political life.
From Italy to Japan, from USA to Singapore, we have been inundated with shocking news of children taking to cyber-bullying of their fellows and how the victims end up committing suicide. This is as a result of eroded moral values which parents find difficult to inculcate in their children. We have to do everything within our moral powers as parents to teach our children the best behavioural patterns and manners of using words on their peers and on older persons. This starts with you as a parent. You should be mindful of the kinds of abusive words that come flying out of your mouth when in your moment of feeling insulted by your ward as a parent; you will resort to such evil words that have far-reaching effects on your children. When tomorrow comes and they end up never-do-wells, you will have to be part of the blamed party.
Even if you are afraid to talk to your children lest they love you less than they love your spouse, make sure they are properly enrolled in church or mosque activities. Definitely, they stand to be better Nigerians when tomorrow comes.